Internet sales giant Amazon announced last week it will voluntarily collect the 7 percent use tax on purchases made by Mississippians, beginning today.
Meanwhile, the Mississippi Department of Revenue has put in place administrative rules to require other online retailers to take similar actions. A bill working its way through the Mississippi legislature would do the same thing.
Daily Journal Capitol Bureau chief Bobby Harrison and local government reporter Caleb Bedillion (6:48) join Derek and Brad on today’s episode to discuss the new tax on internet sales.
For one, there is the question of how the new tax money could be spent. Right now, cities receive 18.5 percent of sales tax that is collected within their boundaries. But there are logistical questions of how to split the new online tax money. The proposal in the legislature would use the it to fund improvements to roads and bridges.
Another question is whether the U.S. Supreme Court will uphold the online tax. A past ruling by the high court said states could only collect sales tax from retailers with a brick and mortar location within the state. Officials are hoping the court will choose to reverse that.
Bobby (27:35) also talks about the status of several other bills after Tuesday’s deadline in the Mississippi Legislature for bills to pass out of committee. A bill that would have changed the structure of the Mississippi Arts Commission died, while others involving education funding and a state lottery remain alive.
Also on today’s show, education reporter Emma Kent (35:39) discusses a new program at Tupelo’s Milam Elementary that provides a leadership academy for the school’s female students.
Sports editor John Pitts (41:26) breaks down Sunday’s Super Bowl matchup between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons.