Lawmakers considering online sales tax bill

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island lawmakers are considering legislation to force online retailers to collect sales taxes and remit them to the state.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Brian Kennedy, a Hopkinton Democrat, says Rhode Island loses more than $30 million a year because it can’t tax out-of-state retailers.

The House Finance Committee held a hearing on the bill last week.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that states can’t impose sales taxes on businesses unless they have a physical presence in the state.

South Dakota recently enacted a law and filed a lawsuit against several remote retailers that aims to overturn the 1992 ruling.

Republican Rep. Daniel Reilly, of Portsmouth, says he doesn’t want Rhode Island to pass a state law just to prod the courts or the U.S. Congress to act.

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