Online Sales Tax Passes First Committee

Shopping online in Florida has its perks; no lines, no gas used getting to the store and no state sales tax.

For 12 years state lawmakers have tried to collect taxes on online purchases but ever attempt has been heavily defeated. A new bill is bringing hope to the cause.

“It’s maybe time to look at total tax reform,” said Nancy Detert.

State Senator Nancy Detert ushered the new online sales tax bill through its first committee stop Tuesday. Detert says it’s not a new tax because the money is already owed. It’s just up to the buyer to self report.

“The consumer is supposed to tax themselves and some actually do and those are the people who are going to die and go right to heaven for submitting a sales tax that nobody checked on,” said Detert.

To get the support needed to pass online tax reform, the bill will have to be revenue neutral, which means for ever dollar an online tax generates, another tax dollar will have to be nixed.

Governor Rick Scott has a few suggestions about where to cut taxes. Just hours after the bill was voted on, Scott celebrated Manufacturing Days at the state capitol.

“Most other states don’t have a tax on manufacturing equipment. So if we want to compete we’ve got to level the playing field,” said Governor Scott.

Before the bill passed its first committee it was amended to include a sales tax exemption on manufacturing equipment, which is expected to cost more than 140 million dollars.

One problem with making the bill revenue neutral is no one knows how much money the online sales tax would generate. Current estimates are between five million and 500 million dollars.