Cyber Monday Losers

Besides a fitting door bell and the southern rock, all was quiet Monday at the Way Out West country boutique.

Just a few days ago a stampede of shoppers were rustling up deals on boots, belts and all the other fixin’ the store offered on Black Friday.

“We opened the doors at eight o’clock, just steady, steady, steady all day. Just a lot of people very excited about getting out,” said Whitney Anders.

If the weekend was the land boom then Cyber Monday was the Dust Bowl for Way Out West as shoppers stayed at home for online deals.

“If you’re sitting at home online and you are clicking on things that you might like, who is there to help you?” said Anders.

But it’s not just brick and mortar retailers loosing the Cyber Monday race, so is the state budget. It relies on sales tax to pay for everything from schools to prisons.

Online stores with locations in Florida collect the six cent tax but retailers outside the state normally don’t. When the tax isn’t collected, the onus falls on the shopper to download one of these forms from the Department of Revenue and mail it in with the taxes they owe.

“Last year about seven thousand people downloaded the form, filled it out and sent a check. That’s miniscule compared to the number of people who bought things were taxes were not collected.” Said Rick McAllister.

The Florida Retail Federation says stores that don’t collect the tax have an unfair advantage over those that do. They’re asking lawmakers to streamline the state tax code to make it easier online shops to know what to charge.

It’s estimated that the state will miss out on more than 10 million sales tax dollars. That figure will more than double by the end of the holiday shopping season.


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