Last year, after the Indianapolis-based shopping mall giant, Simon Property Group, sued the state over the deal, Amazon agreed to start collecting the sales tax in 2014.
The difference between the Amazon-agreed date and House Bill 1007 is only six months, but it means millions of dollars in lost sales tax revenues for the state. And supporters of the bill say it would force Amazon and online retailers to start charging the sales tax during the two of busiest shopping seasons — the late summer back-to-school shopping and the Christmas holidays.
Last month, the House voted 79-18 in favor of the bill after similar concerns to Mishler’s were raised by Rep. David Wolkins, a Republican from Winona Lake.
“If I were the CEO of a company looking at Indiana, I’d say ‘Why should I believe you?’” Wolkins said.
State Rep. Matt Pierce, a Bloomington Democrat who supported the bill, said he didn’t believe Daniels had the authority to cut the original deal with Amazon, even though it was passed by the legislature.
The online sales tax issue has grown in importance in recent years, as more consumers are shifting to online purchases and as the state relies more on sales tax revenues to pay for education and other public services.
A study completed last year by the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute and Ball State University researchers estimates the state loses $114 million a year in uncollected sales taxes on Internet purchases.