Pending online sale tax could mean big business for smaller businesses

Brownwood businesses react to online sales tax

BROWNWOOD, Texas - Attention online shoppers, soon it might be more convenient for you to add things to your shopping cart physically, rather than virtually.

The senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act today, which is a bill that requires all online retailers to collect taxes.

The current law allows states to collect sales taxes only if the stores have a physical presence or location. 

Opponents of the bill say there is not enough protection for small businesses while supporters say this change evens out the economic playing field between online and physical retailers.

Early's Heartland Mall property manager Brittany Edwards said she hopes this tax will be an advantage for her small business and for the local stores in the community.

"When I first opened, my main thing is I wanted to be here for Brownwood and the surrounding communities, and so I'm hoping that'll get those customers that did go online shopping back into the store," Edwards said, "I believe competition will keep the people locally."

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, an estimated $23 billion of sales tax revenue went uncollected last year.

How much you pay depends on where you live, but you won't have to worry about it until at least October 1, 2013, which is the earliest the potential law would take effect.

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