The Clarion-Ledger invited state Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisville, and Shari Veazey, executive director for Mississippi Municipal League, to provide their thoughts on this week’s Point/Counterpoint topic. Their full submissions, without format changes, are included at the bottom.
The majority of Internet sales are business to business, so it would add to the cost of doing business, which, in turn, will increase the end consumer’s price. With our economy still struggling with slow growth, this is not the time to add a price increase to the purchasing of goods. Many Mississippians purchase products online. If we increase their costs, sales will decline. If individuals see a sales tax increase, people will spend less, and job creators would suffer losses. Moreover, the new law would be nothing more than a tax increase for hardworking Mississippians. Why should the state government be taking more money away from the pockets of our hard-working families? We already pay far too much in taxes.
The Mississippi Municipal League supports passage of a law to require online sellers to collect sales tax. Brick-and-mortar businesses — the mom-and-pop retailers that have made a commitment to their communities — are extremely important to cities and towns. Online retailers have an unfair advantage over our “Main Street” businesses who are working hard to grow and sometimes even sustain their business. These same businesses are contributing to the fiscal health of cities while internet based business do nothing to contribute to these communities or to the state of Mississippi.