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Sales Tax On Internet Purchases Rejected By NJ Residents [AUDIO]

Under current law, sales tax is only applied to Internet purchases if they originate in a state where the retailer has a physical presence. Otherwise, sales tax is prohibited. That is one of the reasons, along with convenience, that online sales have skyrocketed in recent years.

Amazon boxes
Amazon.com will beging charging sales tax next year on NJ purchases (Flickr User Michael Dorausch)

New Jersey and other states, though, have been considering an end to the ban. Added sales tax revenue to every Internet purchase would result in much higher revenue for the state. Lifting the ban has also been proposed on the federal level.

According to a PublicMind poll out today from Fairleigh Dickinson University, the majority of New Jersey residents are opposed to ending the ban.

“Although a sales tax on Internet purchases would result in higher revenue for the state, Garden Staters feel their overall tax burden is big enough,” said Krista Jenkins, Executive Director of PublicMind and a professor of political science. “Fifty-four percent said they don’t believe that ending the consumer-friendly practice is worth it.”

Just a third of New Jerseyans believe the state’s current financial situation justifies the added sales tax.

Rejection of the tax appears to be consistent across party lines. More than half of Democrats and Republicans believe the added burden to consumers far outweighs the benefits to the state. Almost half of independents feel the same.

A gender gap is evident, as significantly more men than women side with the proposed change (39-27%).

“Since women remain the ones who are primarily responsible for household purchases, they’re more poised to feel the effects of an additional sales tax on Internet purchases,” Jenkins explained.

Earlier this year, Governor Chris Christie announced Amazon.com would be bringing two distribution centers to the Garden State. Next July, the online retailer can begin collecting sales tax on purchases made in New Jersey.

Christie estimated the state could collect $30 to $40 million in additional sales tax revenue.

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