Kentucky is ready for round two.
The state recently launched a letter campaign to notify sellers they need to begin collecting and remitting its 6 percent sales tax Oct. 1. Kentucky’s economic nexus law mirrors the South Dakota statute at the center of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in South Dakota v. Wayfair.
The next step involves getting the Kentucky Legislature to consider a bill that would make marketplace facilitators like Amazon.com Inc, eBay Inc., and Etsy Inc. report on remote vendors that need to remit sales taxes to the state, Kentucky Department of Revenue Commissioner Daniel Bork told Bloomberg Tax Aug. 30.
Kentucky also is reworking contracts with the seven “certified service providers” (CSPs) that assist with the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA), a program under which sellers collect tax voluntarily and remit it to the 24 state participants, which cover filing costs and other fees. Those CSPs earn between 2 percent and 8 percent of the amounts of sales tax they remit for retailers in the multistate agreement.
While the DOR didn’t have an estimate for how much it expects to collect in new revenue, Richard Dobson, executive director for the department’s office of sale and excise taxes, said the state collects about $36 million annually through the CSPs. In turn, Kentucky pays them more than $200,000, he said.
The June 21 Wayfair ruling tossed out Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, the 1992 physical presence threshold for when states could tax remote sales, and suggested strongly that South Dakota’s law—which includes an annual triggering threshold of $100,000 in sales or 200 transactions—would pass constitutional muster. The ruling has dozens of states considering whether to copy South Dakota’s law, if they haven’t already done so.
A circuit court in South Dakota has yet to consider lifting an injunction and blessing the state’s model. Meanwhile the parties to the case—which include Wayfair Inc., Newegg Inc., and Overstock.com Inc.—are negotiating a possible settlement with the state, which will hold a special legislative session Sept. 12 to consider bills in the wake of the ruling.
Divvying Up Mississippi
Mississippi cities are set to get 15 percent of online sales and use tax revenue. It will be divided among 300 cities each year based on population and the percentage of sales tax collected, Shari Veazey, executive director of the Mississippi Municipal League, an association of local governments, told Bloomberg Tax in an email.
The league had originally requested 18.5 percent from the Legislature, which went into a special session at the end of August to pass a bill to address state and local transportation improvements, among other funding priorities.
“Cities need this revenue stream to make water, sewer, and street infrastructure improvements so that the burden doesn’t fall on business owners and property owners through higher ad valorem taxes,” Veazey said.
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