HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Over the past few years, online retail sales are growing. Google estimates that online retail sales will grow by 7 to 9 percent through 2016.
Because there is no mandatory sales tax on items purchased online, the more people use the internet to buy things, the more money the state loses out on.
A conservative estimate suggests local tax revenue losses to rise by $36 million next year to $299 million. However, the some believe the losses could be even more extreme.
Nancy Dennis with the Alabama Retail Association said that more and more people are moving away from shopping in stores to shopping online. Dennis says an online sales tax should be mandatory in Alabama.
"Retailers should be collecting the tax whether you buy the product sitting in your living room or going to the store," said Dennis. "It should be the same transaction."
Authors of the online study also report that lost tax revenue could also cost the state jobs because of remote sales.
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