Ganim: State Should Pursue Internet Sales Tax To Provide Property Tax Relief

BRIDGEPORT – Bridgeport Mayor and Democratic candidate for governor Joe Ganim is calling for the use some or all of new Internet sales tax revenue to provide property tax relief for Connecticut cities and towns.  A U.S. Supreme Court ruling yesterday allows states to collect sales tax from Internet companies without a brick and mortar location in that state.  The ruling could mean up to $200 million dollars in new annual revenue for the state of Connecticut during difficult economic times.

“This ruling is a huge victory for Connecticut.  As governor, my first budget proposal next year would include provisions for collecting Internet sales tax on all purchases made in Connecticut, and that some or all of the money collected be distributed directly to cities and towns to provide much needed property tax relief,” said Ganim.

The state Department of Revenue Services estimates that Connecticut loses between $100 million and $200 million dollars a year in unpaid sales taxes on Internet purchases.  The state ordered many companies to begin collecting the taxes last year, but those firms largely ignored the order because of the federal law that only required a company to pay sales tax in a state if it has a physical location within its borders.

“This is a change that I have been seeking for years, along with mayors across the country at the U.S. Conference of Mayors.  Collecting sales taxes on Internet purchases benefits the state in two ways, first by raising new revenue that can be used to provide tax relief to cities and towns, and also by helping to balance the playing field for small businesses located in Connecticut who have been forced to collect sales taxes, while large online companies based elsewhere got a free ride,” said Ganim.