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Nebraska lawmakers split on online sales tax proposal

May 5, 2017

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska lawmakers are debating requiring online retailers to collect sales tax or notify buyers that tax is due.

Sen. Dan Watermeier of Syracuse said Thursday that he sponsored the bill to encourage collection of sales tax for online purchases. He says most people pay taxes when they know they owe them but are unaware that online purchases should be taxed.

Nebraska loses between $30 million and $40 million annually from unpaid sales tax on online purchases.

A 1992 Supreme Court decision says states can only tax businesses with locations within the state. Businesses can voluntarily collect the tax, and Amazon announced in December it would do so.

Senators who oppose the bill have promised to filibuster it. Gov. Pete Ricketts has said he will not sign it.

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