WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) --- Congress holds hearings later this month on whether to make it easier for states to collect sales taxes from items bought online from out-of-state vendors and shipped to residents in the state.
A Supreme Court decision 20 years ago essentially freed those out of state vendors from collecting the taxes unless they had a presence in the state.
Traditional so-called brick and mortar stores have complained the current practice puts them at a competitive disadvantage because their bottom line cost, which includes the sales tax, is higher than the bottom line cost of vendors who sell online and don't have to collect the tax.
Online sellers argue that states have widely diverse tax regulations and say it would be too costly to collect taxes for every jurisdiction in the country.
Congress plans at least one hearing in July to discuss provisions of a bill that would streamline state tax provisions and make it easier for online sellers to collect the tax.