Stalled bill could enforce internet sales tax, save businesses

By Corey Spencer

January 21, 2014 Updated Jan 22, 2014 at 3:27 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Experts estimate $23 billion of sales tax revenue from online purchases went uncollected in 2012.

However, a bill making its way through Washington could change that and even the playing field between online retailers and brick and mortar stores.

Currently, online sales tax is collected under the "use tax" when you file your income taxes, not when you make the purchase. The majority of those online sales are not being reported.

This has steered a large amount of consumers to the internet and away from physical stores.

"We don't need to see Best Buy go the way of Circuit City, or bookstores and so forth that have gone out of business, not because they can't compete on price, but because there's simply an issue of people not paying the tax that they are owed," said U.S. Congressman Aaron Schock, (R) Illinois.

Schock and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin both support a bipartisan bill that would force online companies to collect sales tax. The bill passed in the Senate in May, but has not been brought up for vote in the House.

Schock again voiced his support for the bill on Tuesday during a visit to the Best Buy in Peoria. He spoke with employees on what they would like to see happen in Washington.

He also touted Best Buy's e-recycling program. He said the store gives consumers an efficient and eco-friendly way to dispose of old electronics, like computers, cell phones and TVs.

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