Legislators Fight Against Internet Sales Tax

March 1, 2018

Today, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I-Brooklyn/Staten Island), Assemblyman Ron Castorina, Jr. (R,C,I,Ref-Staten Island), and Sen. Martin J. Golden (R,C,I-Brooklyn) spoke out against an internet sales tax proposal expected to burden New Yorkers. The bill will require online providers with distribution centers in New York and at least $100 million in sales nationwide to collect state and local taxes on purchases by New York residents.

“This internet sales tax is merely an attempt to force the state’s working class to subsidize the governor’s reckless budget spending,” said Malliotakis. “States like Massachusetts and Maine have attempted to enact similar taxes in the past and have failed miserably, resulting in costly lawsuits that New York cannot afford at this time. Forcing New Yorkers to pay state and local taxes at the time of purchase would result in unfair increases in item costs statewide. These taxes would also allow the government to retain lists of names and addresses of those who used a marketplace, which is a blatant intrusion on our privacy.”

Assemblyman Castorina voiced his concerns about the proposed legislation as well, saying “This bill is premature. The Supreme Court has not yet decided on a major case affecting interstate commerce and the ability of vendors to collect sales tax. In addition, this bill only makes doing business in New York State more difficult.”

“As we all know, the digital market place has revolutionized how we buy and sell products. Placing a tax on items sold in the digital marketplace will have an adverse impact on internet consumers and businesses,” warned Sen. Golden this afternoon. “This tax will send a message to digital companies that New York is closed for business I have worked tirelessly with my colleagues to pass legislation to attract new and emerging online marketplaces to conduct business here in New York. We need to make New York a state where the digital market place is embraced, nurtured and protected to ensure our economic prosperity.”

This tax would include all purchases by state residents, regardless of whether the seller using the marketplace is in New York State. The proposal also includes reporting requirements for marketplace providers who are not required to collect sales tax and for sellers with receipts from New York purchases of more than $5 million. Sellers or marketplaces who fail to comply with the reporting requirements will be subject to a fine.