Sid Salter: State GOP leaders shifting position on online sales tax

In his Fiscal Year 2018 Executive Budget Recommendation, Gov. Phil Bryant joined what has become a growing chorus of conservative Republicans who are willing to talk seriously about state legislation to collect Mississippi’s existing 7 percent sales tax on online sales as well as counter sales at bricks-and-mortar businesses in the state.

In the budget recommendation, Bryant concluded his opinions regarding online sales tax collections in this unequivocal manner: “These approaches do not create a new tax. They would simply allow Mississippi to enforce the collection of a tax that has been in place for decades.”

In the statement, Bryant gives political voice to a realization that a growing number of state legislators in both parties are beginning to get behind — that as the shopping habits of Mississippians change along with the rest of the country, Mississippi is losing sales tax revenue that simply cannot be replaced unless Mississippi takes steps to tax online sales the same as counter sales.

Clarion Ledger