Louisiana is part of a loosely coordinated, 13-state effort to force Congress to create federal regulations on collecting sales taxes from out-of-state Internet retailers.
The states’ strategy? Levy the taxes themselves and dare the retailers to sue, according to a story in The Wall Street Journal.
The states hope to that “business blowback” and “a confusing national patchwork of laws” will force Congress to act. Even if Congress doesn’t, the states want their legislation challenged in federal court, where one or more of the lawsuits will reach the U.S. Supreme Court. There the states can try to overturn the 1992 ruling that outlaws taxing Internet sales by retailers who don’t have a location in a state.
Louisiana’s Internet sales tax bill is among a host of measures the state Legislature is looking at during the current special session. House Bill 30 would levy an 8 percent tax on the online sales of companies that sell at least $50,000 of goods a year in Louisiana.