Blunt, McCaskill In Agreement On Internet Sales Tax | St. Louis Public Radio

Blunt, McCaskill In Agreement On Internet Sales Tax

Apr 24, 2013

Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo) is one of many co-sponsors of a bill that would allow states to collect sales taxes for online purchases.

Under current law, states can only require stores to collect sales taxes if the store has a physical presence in the state.

As NPR's Planet Money puts it:

If you: 1. Live in a state that charges sales tax and 2. Buy something from an online store that does not charge you sales tax,then you are supposed to: 3. Calculate the sales tax yourself and add it onto your annual state tax bill.Not surprisingly, almost no one actually does this.

As a result, many online sales are essentially tax-free, giving Internet retailers a big advantage over brick-and-mortar stores.

Blunt says that isn’t fair.

“I think it’s a bad idea to have laws on the books that everybody expects people not to obey," Blunt told reporters in a conference call. "Either you eliminate the law that says people are supposed to do this, or figure out a way they can do it.”

Missouri’s other Senator, Democrat Claire McCaskill, has also voiced her support for the bill.

But Missouri's two U.S. Senators are in disagreement over criticisms on the handling of the Boston Marathon bombings.

McCaskill has called criticisms "“Monday Morning quarterbacking."

“I’m trying to figure out what it is people would have the FBI do," McCaskill said. "The person in custody is a U.S. citizen, and the FBI has indicated that they are working alone.”

McCaskill says she is confident that the suspect will either receive the death penalty or get a life sentence in prison. Blunt says it was a mistake to not consider him an enemy combatant, and that reading him his Miranda rights as soon as he woke up could have cost the U.S. valuable information.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel