Burgum: Supreme Court opinion on online sales tax collections is a victory for Main Street businesses

Thursday, June 21, 2018 - 1:00pm

BISMARCK, N.D. (June 21, 2018) -- Gov. Doug Burgum today applauded the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that online retailers can be required to collect sales taxes in states where they lack a physical presence, calling it a win for Main Street that levels the playing field between remote sellers and brick-and-mortar businesses.

North Dakota and 40 other states joined a South Dakota lawsuit aiming to overturn the Supreme Court’s 1992 ruling in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, which said states couldn’t require companies to collect sales tax unless they had a physical presence in the taxing state.

“This is a long overdue victory for our local retailers who provide the jobs, storefronts and shopping experiences that make our cities and towns the vibrant communities they are,” Burgum said. “For far too long, they’ve operated under an antiquated law that gave remote sellers an unfair advantage over retailers who invest their time, energy and resources into our communities. Today’s ruling will increase competition and level the playing field for online and Main Street merchants alike, creating a fairer, more modern marketplace and giving both our economy and our state revenues a much-needed boost.”

The state Tax Commissioner’s Office estimates overturning the Quill case could represent up to an additional $50 million in annual sales tax revenue for the state.

Last year, Gov. Burgum signed Senate Bill 2298, which requires remote sellers to collect and remit sales tax to North Dakota only if they make at least 200 sales or $100,000 in sales annually in North Dakota, regardless of whether they have a physical presence in the state. Because the bill’s effective date was contingent on the Supreme Court overturning Quill, the Tax Commissioner’s Office says it will work over the next few weeks to implement the law.