Mass. official seeks new online tax policy

Massachusetts treasurer asks Congress to set uniform policy for Internet sales taxes

Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) -- Massachusetts Treasurer Steven Grossman is urging Congress to pass a law allowing states to apply sales taxes to all Internet retail sales.

Grossman sent a letter on Tuesday to U.S. Sen. Max Baucus saying it was time to "level the playing field," by having a consistent policy on taxes. He said "brick and mortar" stores that create local jobs should not be at a competitive disadvantage to out-of-state, online retailers.

Baucus, a Montana Democrat, chairs the Senate Finance Committee.

Under current rules, an online retailer is only required to charge a sales tax if it has a physical presence — such as a store or warehouse — in the consumer's state.

Grossman cites a recent independent study showing that with a uniform Internet sales tax, Massachusetts could have collected $387 million in additional revenue last year.

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