Online Shopping Hurts Arkansas Economy

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA)– The National Retail Federation reports that 75,000,000 people are expected to participate in Cyber Monday.

But, the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce said this is costing the natural state quite a bit of money. 

This problem is actually bigger than Cyber Monday.

When you make a purchase online, and the company doesn’t have a brick and mortar store in Arkansas, you aren’t charged a sales or use tax.

This means Fayetteville, Washington County, and the state of Arkansas aren’t getting a cut of the purchase.
 
But, technically you are required to report those purchases when filing your income tax return.
 
Failure to do so is illegal.
 
Due to the high number of Arkansans not reporting, the Director of Economic Development for the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce says the state is missing anywhere from $35,000,000 to $40,000,000.
 
Chung Tan said, “It could go to our roads, our infrastructure, replacing our bridges, servicing our highways or building our highways. That is all very important to us.”
 
Tan also mentions that lawmakers have consistently tried to right this problem by trying to pass legislation that makes online retailers charge sales tax that will benefit the state.
 
Right now she says the only two online retailers that charge a sales tax that don’t have ties to Arkansas are Amazon and Airbnb.

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