U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis said he plans to support the Marketplace Fairness Act.(WJBC file photo)
By Eric Stock
WASHINGTON - The federal online retail tax bill which passed the Senate could face an uphill battle in the House, but the bill has the support of U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis.
The Republican from Taylorville said he will support a plan to force internet retailers to collect sales tax, barring any changes to the bill. He said it's unfair for brick and mortar stores to lose out to online competitors who don't have to collect a sales tax in most states.
"Our local Main Street businesses are adversely affected by those who are doing online sales and not collecting the sales tax and not collecting the revenue that our local cities, our local communities and local business owners need to survive in this business," Davis said.
The Marketplace Fairness Act passed the Senate earlier this week.
USA Today reported Illinois missed out on an estimated $506.8 million in tax revenue in online sales last year. The state requires online buyers report the purchases on their state income tax returns, but it's basically voluntary.
Davis said the measure also hurts state and local governments who rely on the tax dollars, but added he suggested Illinois come up with a detailed plan to spend the money.
"It's an issue that needs to be addressed, and if you're talking about giving Illinois an extra $500 million, you might want to put some contingencies on it so they don't waste it," Davis said.
Davis said he'll support the bill as long as changes aren't made.
Eric Stock can be reached at email@example.com.