ISSUE: The Streamlined Sales Tax Project would revise the Florida sales tax statutes to standardize them with 24 other states that have already adopted the same model legislation. This would allow Florida to collect sales taxes on remote sales, meaning those occurring on the Internet, through catalogues and from television solicitations. If Florida adopts this model legislation before the U.S. Congress passes federal legislation, there would be a $44 million cost to the state treasury due to certain mandated changes to Florida’s sales tax statutes which are currently not recognized in Florida law. Recognizing this cost, should the Florida Retail Federation continue to pursue passage of the model legislation prior to the federal law being changed.
DISCUSSION: Currently, Florida relies on the honesty of its individual citizens to remit the “use tax” to the Florida Department of Revenue on a transaction-by-transaction basis. Since many citizens aren’t aware of the requirement to pay the tax on items purchased from remote sellers, very little money is collected and, as a result, Florida’s Main Street merchants are placed at a competitive disadvantage in pricing. The out-of-state merchant not only does not collect or pay taxes in Florida, but uses this fact to gain a price advantage through being able to sell an item at a lower cost simply because he or she doesn’t collect the tax due on the sale.
POSITION: The Florida Retail Federation will be actively engaged and encourage the 2013 Florida Legislature to adopt a Joint Resolution requesting that the U.S. Congress pass federal legislation authorizing the states to implement legislation to collect these taxes. In addition, the Florida Retail Federation will support passage of legislation which will clarify the nexus provisions of the current state sales tax law that will allow the Florida Department of Revenue to enforce the requirement to collect sales tax on Internet sales.
Executive Vice President
Randy is responsible for coordinating all aspects of FRF's government affairs efforts.
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