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Supreme Court ruling gives hope to local retailers

The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that states can require internet retailers to collect sales tax.

Posted: Jun 21, 2018 5:02 PM
Updated: Jun 21, 2018 6:37 PM

Right now, it's a law that Alabama doesn't currently have, but shopper Barbara Barnaby says if the state does decide to force online shoppers to pay state sales tax, she'll feel the impact.

"Probably once a week...I probably spend close to 100 a month, maybe," Barnaby said. "I dont like it because that means I have to pay more."

Thursday's ruling by the Supreme Court (5-4 decision) reversed a 26 year-old ruling where a company must have a physical presence in the state to charge a sales tax. That means if Alabama lawmakers decide to enforce the law, some online retailers such as Overstock and Wayfair will have to charge more.

Local brick and mortar retailer Andrea Parham, believes the decision could help strike more of a balance.

"I think that it would even the playing field a little bit for brick and mortar stores, especially stores that don't have an online component," Parham said.

For Parham, the decision is a big win for local businesses.

"For local business I think it's actually a really positive thing and that's because sometimes people will pick online over a local business even if the prices are the same," Parham said. "It's a convenience thing."

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