Amazon to Begin Collecting Missouri Sales Tax
Shoppers typically turn to online sites for better prices but Missouri residents that use Amazon are going to see an increase at checkout. Amazon will begin collecting sales tax on orders being shipped to Missouri. Not the best news for shoppers but local businesses say it could help them.
Despite the fact that they sell the most popular book in the world, the owners of For All Bible in Joplin say Amazon has significantly impacted their sales.
“If I were to tell you that you could get an 8 % discount on anything you buy wouldn’t that have your attention,” asks Chris Leiter, owner of For All Bible.
He says ultimately, that is what Amazon has been offering customers by not collecting sales tax in Missouri, putting his business at a disadvantage. Businesses in Joplin have to charge about 8 percent in state and city taxes, Amazon will meet them halfway by collecting 4.2 percent in state sales taxes.
“I just think it’s a great thing, I think it’s the right thing to do and the fair thing to do,” says Leiter.
A great thing for local businesses, but not necessarily shoppers.
“I’m kind of frustrated with it,” Joplin resident Skyler Vaughn says of the taxes.
“I wish it wasn’t added on, I like not paying the sales tax when I order things online,” says Joyce Youngblood.
Some say the changes will cause them to think twice before clicking checkout. For others, the convenience wins.
“I price match a lot of the things that I buy and if it’s the same price and I can get free shipping then I’ll just get it [on Amazon],” says Gina Anderson.
“It’s still more convenient,” says Vaughn.
“I kind of like getting stuff in the mail because even though it comes pretty fast, it’s fun waiting for it to get there,” adds Youngblood.
Still, store owners are hopeful an even playing field will bring more customers out into their businesses.
“When you have to pay a little more for shopping online, I mean the convenience is a big draw but hopefully, if our deal is closer to an online deal in price that has to be able to help us,” says Leiter.
Amazon already collects sales tax in Kansas but does not in Oklahoma. Missouri is 1 of 6 states that will see the change next week.