South Dakota Senator Deb Peters: Internet Sales Tax Debacle

ALERT:  South Dakota PUBLICLY  OWNED Universities are NOT collecting sales taxes for OTHER states when people shop on their websites.  South Dakota lawmakers plan on filing lawsuits against businesses located outside of their state to force business owners to collect South Dakota sales taxes for them.  Apparently they think it is NOT fair that a business located in Minnesota or ANY OTHER STATE is NOT being their tax collectors.  This is hypocritical.

SD Senator Deb Peters Internet Sales Tax Debacle

On February 19, 2016, the Rapid City Journal wrote an article, “Panel pushes forward tax on sales by non SD-merchants.”  The article showed:

  • The governor and South Dakota lawmakers plan on pursuing South Dakota state sales taxes on purchases shipped from outside South Dakota to residents in the state.
  • Businesses (located outside of South Dakota) that don’t comply would face action (lawsuits) in South Dakota courts.
  • Their goal is to target companies outside of South Dakota to get the matter before the U.S. Supreme Court.  They want companies with NO physical presence in South Dakota to collect sales taxes for them.
  • On Wednesday, the South Dakota Senate State Affairs Committee conducted a hearing on the sales tax legislation, Senate Bill 106. Not one lawmaker opposed this tactic.
  • “Senate Democratic leader Billie Sutton of Burke asked Sen. Deb Peters, R-Hartford, the bill’s prime sponsor, whether any businesses from outside South Dakota are remitting sales tax to the state treasury. Twenty-two are voluntarily doing so, Peters replied. “ As a matter of fairness,” Sutton said, “they should all be doing so.”

BACKGROUND

SOUTH DAKOTA is a member of the Streamlined Sales & Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA) which is set up to help states collect sales taxes across state lines.  Here is a link to their FAQ page.  The website shows, in part that A SELLER that registers under the Agreement MUST collect sales and use tax for all member states. The member states are Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, SOUTH DAKOTA, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

According to their website a SELLER is NOT required to register with their system or even take part.  It is totally voluntary.  The website specifically shows, “Only those sellers that want the benefits of the Streamlined Sales & Use Tax Agreement must register on this site.”  Their website shows that there are just over 2,100 active accounts that had registered to be voluntarily sellers that enjoy the BENEFITS under the SSUTA.

  • NOTE: Only sellers that want the BENEFITS of the SSUTA must register on this site.

On February 19, 2016 I placed test orders on publicly owned South Dakota websites for items that would be taxable in the State of Minnesota.  NO out-of-state sales tax was being collected. Apparently, NO South Dakota owned Universities want the BENEFITS of registering on the SSUTA website to collect sales taxes for other states.

I also sent several twitter messages to the lawmakers in South Dakota that are involved with this unconstitutional legislation.

On February 19, 2016 I sent the following tweet to South Dakota Senator Deb Peters:

The lawmakers in the State of South Dakota that back Senate Bill 106. are hypocrites.  YOUR own state is NOT even collecting sales taxes for other states.  Now South Dakota lawmakers want to file lawsuits against businesses (not even located in South Dakota) for doing the same thing.

If I were ANY of the lawmakers that backed Senate Bill 106 I would be embarrassed.  Go stick your head in the sand.

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