Supreme Court to Hear Online Sales Tax Argument

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley on U.S. Supreme Court's decision to accept the state's case on online sales taxes 1/12/18. Video from the Attorney General's office

Supreme Court to Hear Online Sales Tax Argument

In its brief to the Supreme Court, the National Retail Federation said that software is now widely available that makes it easy for retailers to collect sales tax.

State Attorney General Marty Jackley says that "Main Street" South Dakota and $50 million are at stake in the big case he will soon argue before the U.S. Supreme Court.

"It's not the decision we sought, but we're glad the nation's highest court will learn how new state laws are imposing unreasonable tax burdens on out-of-state businesses", DelBianco said. "ERA continues to strongly believe that the physical presence standard set in the Quill decision stands as the correct Constitutional interpretation and should be upheld", said McClellan. In 1992 decision, the court said sales tax laws across the country were too complicated for retailers to know how much tax to collect unless they were physically present in the customer's state. Let Congress finish its job in negotiating an equitable solution that works for all stakeholders. The justices said then that requiring companies to do more would amount to discrimination against interstate commerce. Through its acclaimed self-regulatory guidelines, ERA is dedicated to building consumer trust in direct response-marketed products and services. They argued that "the right to legal districts prevails" when choosing between delaying electoral deadlines and addressing "voters' ongoing harm" under the current maps.

The Supreme Court weighed in first in 1967, ruling that states can not force "catalog" retailers to collect sales taxes in states where they are not physically present.

Hanging over the Texas case is the possibility that the state will be placed back under federal oversight of its elections laws. "I hope this means the Court is open to revisiting the important issue of taxation of online sales".

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The case is expected to draw a long list of supporters and opponents of South Dakota's challenge. That case, along with the one from Texas, is likely to be heard this spring and decided by June. Adding to the drama, Bloomberg reports that three of the nine justices - Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Anthony Kennedy - have signaled their opposition to Quill.

The grant of review of the South Dakota case on Friday was among similar grants on ten other cases.

In a September 2017 ruling, the South Dakota Supreme Court, citing the 1992 precedent, ruled against the state.

On the gerrymandering front, the Supreme Court already has heard a challenge to the way Wisconsin Republicans drew legislative district maps. Lawyers for the state on Friday asked the justices to block the ruling for the 2018 election cycle. The map is invalid because it resulted from a partisan gerrymandering, giving Republican candidates virtual assurances that they would win 10 of the state's 13 House seats.

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