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Michigan Retailers Take Fight For Online Sales Tax To Washington

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WASHINGTON (WWJ) – It’s a job killer and it needs to change. That’s the message from multiple Michigan retailers who say they’re frustrated with losing sales to big online stores.

They’re taking that message to Washington D.C., asking lawmakers to force online retailers to charge sales tax.

“Should government policy be treating one group of retails different than another group? …The obvious answer to that is no, government should be neutral,” said Michigan Retailers Association Vice President Mike Scott. “If retailers inside the state of Michigan are required to collect sales tax on purchases, than so should all the other retailers that sell into Michigan.”

According to Scott, Michigan retailers are losing over $8 billion in sales because of the online loophole, amounting to the loss of thousands of jobs.

“It costs the state over $500 million in lost sales tax, most of which would go to support the schools,” Scott said.

“The ultimate solution to this is for Congress to act,” he said, “because then it would be a nationwide solution and it would cover everybody.”

The retailers will be meeting with Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow to push for change. Among those joining in the talks on Wednesday include a retailer from Traverse City and a jewelry store owner from Lowell, Michigan.

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