Sales tax in Mississippi has not been coming up to its anticipated levels in quite some time and it could have something to do with the increase in online internet sales.
While the internet sales tax is a controversial subject, that is being fought in courts across the U.S. many people are wondering just how much a mandatory internet sales tax (use tax) would bring in.
“We’re really not sure what it’s going to bring in,” said Herb Friarson, Commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Revenue. “I know that we have brought in about 21 or 22 who are voluntarily remitting use tax to the state in the last year or so, Amazon being the big one, and if you follow the revenue collections you will see that use tax has gone up above the anticipated level. We have collected more than what was anticipated.”
He added that a new sales tax needs to be put in place, even if it is not an internet sales tax, due to our state relying so heavily on the sales tax.
“If we are not able, if the courts or Congress does not allow us to collect the use tax on internet sales, I think that legislatures, ours included, is going to have to take in the future, a long hard look at how we tax because we are so dependent upon sales tax and if we start losing large portions of it, they are going to have to look at it,” said Friarson.