Pa. store owners salute online sales tax enforcement

    Pennsylvania brick-and-mortar store-owners are cheering the state’s announcement that it will require online and catalog retailers to collect sales tax.

    Todd Dickinson has run Aaron’s Books, a store in Lancaster County, for six years. Since 2009, he’s been behind efforts to get the state to make e-commerce retailers collect sales tax.

    Dickinson says the latest clarification is a big shift:

    “Pennsylvania saying, you know, the Internet is now established and we don’t have to treat it with kid gloves and we’re not going to hurt its growth by applying the same rules to the folks there as we do to the bricks and mortar stores in our state,” Dickinson said.

    State Revenue Department officials say they will start enforcing sales-tax collection among remote sellers that have any kind of physical presence in the commonwealth. Revenue officials interpret that to mean any warehouses, delivery infrastructure, or sales agents in Pennsylvania.

    Dickinson said it’s only fair for storeowners who have long had to compete with e-commerce discounts that are due, in part, to overlooking sales tax.

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