On April 16, at a meeting in Washington, D.C., delegates of the Streamlined Sales Tax Implementing States (SSTIS) agreed to amend some portions of the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA) in an effort to keep sales tax simplification on schedule for October 1, as reported by Washington Retail Insight (WRI), a newsletter of the National Retail Federation. SSUTA would help states begin to recover from years of budgetary shortfalls by collecting revenue lost through catalog and Internet purchases.
The article explained that under the SSUTA, "voluntary collection can begin only after 10 states representing at least 20 percent of the population of the 45 states that collect sales tax have enacted legislation" bringing their sales tax laws into compliance with SSUTA. SSTIS had expected this threshold to be reached by summer, but a few states that had been expected to conform to SSUTA have either delayed the effective date of their sales tax legislation or are delaying their participation, WRI explained.
In an effort to keep on schedule, SSTIS has added two new membership categories: one for states where compliant streamlined sales tax legislation has been passed, but is not yet in effect, and one for those states that have "'substantially' complied," but still need more work. The new categories mean that a Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board can be created on schedule by July 1, WRI reported, and that "voluntary collection of sales tax on Internet, mail-order, and other 'remote' sales between the participating states can begin on October 1." (More information is available on the NRF website, www.nrf.com.)
In related news, a spokesperson for Senator Michael Enzi (R-WY) told BTW that the Senator is planning to reintroduce the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Act (SSUTA) during this session of Congress, though he has not yet set a date. For more information on Enzi's legislation, go to news.bookweb.org/read/1913.