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Lawmakers fast-track bill for online sales tax

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S2794 and A4261 call for New Jersey to extend the sales tax to any out-of-state companies selling more than $100,000 goods to the state, or conduct more than 200 transactions with anyone in the state.
S2794 and A4261 call for New Jersey to extend the sales tax to any out-of-state companies selling more than $100,000 goods to the state, or conduct more than 200 transactions with anyone in the state. - ()

Lawmakers will consider legislation to codify a sales tax on out-of-state online vendors, following a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling last week.

Senate Bill 2794 and Assembly Bill 4261 call for New Jersey to extend the sales tax to any out-of-state companies which sell more than $100,000 goods to the state, or conduct more than 200 transactions with anyone in the state. Transactions would still be subject to the same sales tax as others, 6.625 percent.

Floor votes on the legislation were expected sometime Monday.

Amazon currently pays the sales tax for New Jersey transactions, but under the bill that would extend to the third-party vendors who sell through Amazon, eBay and other such sites. Lawmakers in the Democrat-controlled Legislature are pushing for the revenue to be installed in the 2019 budget, arguing it could bring in between $100 million and $300 million within the first year.

“The timing is excellent,” Senate Budget Chair Paul Sarlo said on Thursday. “It’s a win for New Jersey taxpayers and New Jersey businesses with brick-and-mortar shops.”

But Gov. Phil Murphy’s revenue projection the state have been far less optimistic – as little as $25 million, Murphy said at a Thursday press conference. The state might not even be able to consider that money in its 2019 budget, he added.

“We just saw the Supreme Court ruling,” Murphy said. “We have to sort of figure out where we go from here.”

Lawmakers have until June 30 to ink a budget deal, otherwise the government will shut down its non-essential services. Murphy has also hinted at a possible line-item veto of the Legislature’s priorities if he doesn’t get his way on which taxes he wants enacted.

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Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel J. Munoz


Daniel Munoz covers politics and state government for NJBIZ. You can contact him at dmunoz@njbiz.com.

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