NewsPolk County


Online shoppers could soon pay more at checkout

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Posted at 4:51 PM, Sep 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-27 08:14:57-04

LAKELAND, Fla. — A new proposed law could cost you more at check out — online.

Senator Joe Gruters filed Senate Bill 126 in September, asking lawmakers to impose an online sales tax for retailers.

You may be thinking, "Hey, I thought I already paid sales tax online?"

Stores like Amazon, Target and Best Buy, if they are physically in Florida, can and do impose a sales tax online. But for stores without a brick and mortar location, they don't have to.

Dr. Jim Mennie with Florida Polytechnic University says it saves consumers a great amount of money. Dr. Mennie also believes shoppers already pay too much sales tax as it is.

"Right off the bat you're saying, depending on your locale 7-8%, in some localities it's 10%," he said.

But soon, not paying sales tax online could change. Senate Bill 126 will be introduced into legislation in early 2020.

Dr. Mennie says he gives it a 50/50 chance of passing, calling it a money grab for retailers.

“They want a level playing field. They want everyone to be collecting sales tax,” he said.

For those who prefer shopping online, they tell us it’s not fair all around.

"No, if we are buying online we shouldn’t pay sales tax. We're at home.” Lourdes Perez, a shopper said.

The bill will be looked at during Florida’s 2020 legislative session this coming winter.