Online sales issue finally resolved

Published 11:19 am Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Mississippi legislature needs to find money to help out the state’s struggling budget and has talked for some time about getting internet retailers like Amazon to pay its fair charge by charging sales tax.

But while at least three bills circulated through the legislature with plans of how Mississippi could make remote, online retailers like Amazon charge and pay sales tax on purchases in Mississippi, no consensus on how to get that done had yet emerged.

So Amazon did the dirty work for them, approaching Mississippi recently and voluntarily agreeing this week to start charging sales tax beginning February 1.

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The move will generate between $15 million and $30 million for the state annually.

Before you applaud Amazon for stepping up, recognize the amount of money Mississippi has lost for all the years due to sales tax not charged and collected from the retail giant. While Oxford stores like Square Books have generated sales tax and local jobs, Amazon has effectively been able to discount its goods by avoiding sales tax on purchases from this state.

We’re glad this is finally resolved, but wish Mississippi’s legislative leaders or Amazon could have solved this sooner.