Tester Introduces Bill to Protect Montana Businesses From Collecting Sales Taxes

Senator’s Bill Would Reverse Damaging Supreme Court Decision

(U.S. Senate)—U.S. Senator Jon Tester is leading the charge against forcing small businesses to collect online sales taxes for other states.

Tester introduced the Stop Taxing Our Potential (STOP) Act today to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that forces local businesses to collect sales taxes on behalf of other states when their residents purchase goods and services online—even when those businesses are located in states that don’t have sales taxes. The Supreme Court case, South Dakota vs. Wayfair, overturns 26 years of precedent that protected businesses from collecting and remitting sales taxes to other states.

“Montanans oppose a sales tax and our businesses shouldn’t be forced to collect a sales tax to shore up the finances of other states,” Tester said. “This bill reflects the overwhelming sentiment of Montanans and defends our state’s businesses from getting into the sales tax business.”

The Supreme Court decided last week—with a tie-breaking vote by Justice Neil Gorsuch—that states have the authority to impose a sales tax on purchases made over the internet. Local businesses would be required to collect the sales tax and send the funds to the state where the customer resides.

As a result of the decision, local businesses could be required to remit sales taxes to nearly 9,800 state and local tax jurisdictions across the United States.

Tester has been leading the charge to protect Montanans from a nationwide online sales tax and earlier this year he introduced a resolution to prevent other states from forcing Montanans to collect sales taxes.

Tester was the only member of Montana’s Senate delegation to oppose the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, who was the deciding vote on the Court’s decision to force Montanans to collect and remit sales taxes to help shore up the finances of other states.

Montanans overwhelmingly rejected a statewide sales tax at the ballot box by more than a 2-1 margin in 1971 and 1993.

The STOP Act is available HERE.