Shopping online skims money from local communities

As convenient as it may be for some people to do their shopping from a computer or smartphone, the inconvenient truth is it hurts local communities.

Posted: Nov 22, 2017 7:32 PM

Experts expect this coming Cyber Monday to be the biggest online shopping day in U.S. history, but those big deals could be causing big damage in local communities.

Researchers are predicting that U.S. online holiday sales will reach $107.4 billion this year; with Cyber Monday leading the way.  WAAY 31 spent the day finding out just how much money shopping online is costing Alabama.

Over the next five days consumers will have three opportunities for big holiday sales by braving the elements and crowds on Black Friday, going local and small businesses on Saturday or waiting until Cyber Monday.

As convenient as it may be for some people to do their shopping from a computer or smartphone, the inconvenient truth is it hurts local communities.

“Realistically the city is definitely not getting its fair share of this money and so we’re not getting the money to help pave our road.  We’re not getting the money to help you know look after for Public Safety and all the things that the citizens of Huntsville depend on us to provide for them,” Huntsville Business Relations Officer Harrison Diamond said.

Diamond believes Alabama is missing out every time you click that mouse, “There’s a University of Tennessee study that says Alabama, as a state, is likely missing out on $152 million in lost sales tax collection, so that’s a big impact across the state.”

In 2015, the state created a program to collect an 8-percent online consumer sales tax from retailers with no stores or physical presence in the state, which was largely going unpaid. Roughly 85 businesses have signed up for the program including online retail giant Amazon.

“The good thing is we’re starting to get some of it, the bad news is we’re really not getting our fair share,” Diamond said.

A number of local cities and communities, including Huntsville, have resorted to increasing their lodging tax to help fix roads and address other improvement needs, because of the lack of sales tax revenue.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 94827

Reported Deaths: 1674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson12743242
Mobile9565206
Montgomery6521148
Madison525030
Tuscaloosa410371
Unassigned347461
Baldwin344323
Shelby320133
Marshall309034
Lee262844
Morgan233017
Etowah207530
DeKalb177113
Calhoun170413
Elmore169438
Walker150264
Houston136412
Russell13422
Dallas131123
St. Clair131016
Limestone128413
Franklin125820
Cullman120112
Colbert115613
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Autauga106521
Escambia105416
Talladega98613
Jackson9454
Tallapoosa84979
Chambers83538
Dale82323
Blount7743
Chilton7676
Butler75935
Coffee7475
Covington72620
Pike6907
Barbour5695
Lowndes56724
Marion56724
Marengo54614
Clarke4969
Hale46726
Bullock45411
Winston44411
Perry4364
Wilcox41810
Bibb4164
Monroe4154
Randolph39410
Pickens3849
Conecuh38210
Sumter36218
Lawrence3441
Macon33213
Washington32712
Crenshaw3133
Choctaw27912
Cherokee2637
Geneva2550
Henry2523
Greene25011
Clay2495
Lamar2172
Fayette1985
Cleburne1251
Coosa1012
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Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 118782

Reported Deaths: 1206
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby22635302
Davidson20185212
Rutherford640453
Hamilton597052
Knox440737
Williamson344825
Sumner336573
Unassigned30809
Out of TN284216
Wilson222923
Montgomery188313
Bradley187412
Sevier18307
Putnam171717
Trousdale15826
Robertson152119
Hamblen137214
Blount124310
Washington12002
Tipton11839
Maury11787
Madison102417
Sullivan93312
Bedford90811
Hardeman87517
Macon85613
Lake7820
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Bledsoe6901
Fayette6708
Gibson6705
Anderson6686
Dickson6662
Dyer6197
Cheatham5737
Jefferson5523
Henderson5472
Lawrence5346
McMinn52420
Rhea5221
Obion5194
Coffee5073
Warren4984
Carter4976
Lauderdale4878
Haywood4576
Hardin4538
Cocke4502
Greene4477
Smith4464
Hawkins4357
Roane4332
Cumberland4126
Monroe4079
Weakley3974
Giles36913
McNairy3665
DeKalb3392
Franklin3134
Carroll2903
Marshall2833
Lincoln2761
White2735
Henry2660
Crockett2604
Johnson2580
Claiborne2550
Hickman2530
Campbell2391
Wayne2252
Marion2164
Chester2112
Decatur1983
Polk1953
Grainger1940
Overton1751
Unicoi1560
Union1500
Cannon1420
Benton1391
Humphreys1203
Jackson1181
Scott1180
Grundy1112
Morgan1031
Sequatchie1020
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Clay740
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