In June 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that states could impose a sales tax on ecommerce goods, even if a retailer had no physical presence in a state. The South Dakota v. Wayfair case reversed an online retail practice that had been accepted as law since 1992.
Over the past few months, more than half of states in the US have enacted an online sales tax or will do so in 2019.
Local governments viewed online sales tax as a boon, brick-and-mortar retailers considered it leveling the playing field, while online retailers—many which already paid sales tax—predicted it would be detrimental.
In an Internet Retailer survey conducted at the beginning of the year, 72% of retailers did not want the law to change, and 69% of respondents said collecting online sales tax would have a "very negative" effect on their business.
More than one-third (36%) of US internet users said they would shop less online if they had to pay sales tax, though the bulk of shoppers (55%) said it wouldn't impact their behavior.
In an April 2018 poll by The Economist and YouGov, US internet users were almost evenly split among respondents who felt digital retailers should collect sales tax (34%), those who disagreed (36%) and the undecided (30%).
Now that online sales tax is becoming a reality, are attitudes changing?