The ruling is a victory for big chains with a presence in many states, since they usually collect sales tax on online purchases already.
E-commerce sales are expected to continue to take an increasing portion of total retail sales, so state and local governments should be rejoicing about this ruling.
South Dakota brought the lawsuit against major online retailers for failing to comply with its new sales tax law, in an effort to get the Supreme Court to revisit the Quill decision. That will prevent Amazon from taking advantage of a previous loophole that had enabled states to charge sales tax on customers only if the seller has a physical presence in the state, whether that be a physical store, an office or a warehouse.
On June 21, the US Supreme Court overturned a 26-year ban on levying online sales tax, satisfying South Dakota's complaint of an outdated ruling that had made much of the internet a tax-free zone. The latter provisions were included to alleviate the burden on small businesses.
Some internet retailers are shrugging and making plans to adhere to the new rules.
I shop on Amazon all the time, will it cost more now? "It's not something that needs to be a panic situation". But smaller online stores may not have been collecting sales tax, which the Supreme Court ruling could change. Walmart is another retailer that collects online sales tax because it has physical locations in the state.
But when and if that happens depends on the state: Some may pass laws quickly, others can take years and some states, like the ones that don't have a sales tax, may choose not to require it, says Mr. Bishop-Henchman.
There are still many unknowns.
Kiesel said her website vendor automatically figures whether or not her customers pay their state sales tax. It's also not known if Congress might set a uniform ceiling that all states would have to adhere to.
The chief executive of a medium-sized sporting goods company based in San Diego, who did not wish to be identified to avoid making his company a target for state tax collectors, said it was unreasonable to expect small and medium sized businesses to deal with thousands of jurisdictions.
At a local retailer, a consumer is going to pay a six percent tax rate.
At the March 24 Johnson City Commission meeting, Finance Director Janet Jennings spoke about how online sales have slowly deteriorated in recent years, citing online sales as the driving factor. Rocky Cummings of BDO the accounting, tax, and advisory firm said: "There was very little voluntary compliance with the use tax".
Keyton says it's not as easy and straightforward as it seems. Because of dramatic fall-offs in state sales taxes, the state in 2016 enacted a law to test the physical presence rule. He said that was because it had been watered down at the governor's urging. For others, it also included the added bonus of not having to pay sales tax from select merchants. "Not due to their own business practices, but because of a tax loophole". Betty Lou Kranz initially anxious about being able to stay in business if she had to track tax rates in hundreds of jurisdictions where her Port Jervis, New York-based company, The Pretzel Princess, sells candy and snacks.
"I do a lot in Washington state for whatever reason", Kiesel said. "Their employees create the need for additional jobs elsewhere", Peterson said.
Many bike retailers do some e-commerce to complement their brick-and-mortar sales. "They know exactly where it went because they shipped it there".
"It really is a disadvantage to local brick and mortar stores".
"More than three quarters of Etsy sellers are businesses of one", Silverman wrote.
This change is expected to boost revenue for the state and traditional main street businesses.
"I would really love for our government to get behind the idea of small business and when you do something like this it does not encourage small business", Keyton said.
"Vets all over the country have lost a lot of income for a long time", says Dr. John de Jong, owner of Newton Animal Hospital in MA and president-elect of the American Veterinary Medical Association.