On Friday, Kansas lawmakers delayed a debate on a bill that would even the playing field for small businesses and internet businesses.
Under the bill, online purchases would be taxed the same way sales are taxed in an actual store.
According to a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, states can only tax online sales if the retailer has a brick and mortar store in the state. The Supreme Court’s ruling is currently being challenged.
According to Kansas revenue estimates, if passed, the bill could bring in an additional $78 million per year in sales tax revenue.
“As we look at our main street businesses that will lose sales to the internet, sometimes due to the sales tax. So it’s been a competitive advantage for firms that sell that way have had. So the desire is to even the playing field,” said State Rep. Steven Johnson, R-Assaria.
There was no reason given for why the bill was pulled from the agenda, however some lawmakers suggested it was because of a tax bill passed out of a Senate committee Thursday. Others said it could’ve been to avoid a number of amendments.
“Republicans like to run on tax cuts. I think we’re going to have a conversation about that. The second thing is this is clearly germane to a lot of amendments on food sales tax and other taxes, and they weren’t sure what that would do on a Friday afternoon,” said House Minority Leader, Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita.
Lawmakers will be on the floor next week. It’s the final week for them to consider legislation other than spending bills and tax bills. Johnson said he hopes the internet sales tax bill is on next week’s agenda.