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State sales tax hits online purchases for Kansans

KS Sales Tax
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KS Sales Tax

PITTSBURG, Kan. - The Kansas Department of Revenue has added the state's 6.5% tax to internet-based sales in an effort to even things out for brick and mortar stores.

The Kansas attorney general argues the state department of revenue did not have the legal authority to raise taxes on Kansas shoppers, but local business leaders are on board.

There are plenty of hidden treasures at the Paradise Antique Mall in Pittsburg, and while most of the merchandise is only available in-store, Jon Hill admits he's had to adapt to selling some things on e-Bay.

"I'd rather sell everything in the store if I could. I'd rather be strictly brick and mortar, but sometimes you have to sell online," said Hill.

As a small business owner, Hill has been awaiting the implementation of the 6.5% sales tax on out-of-state online purchases, hoping to make things more fair on his end.

"Of course, little shops like us are never going to be able to compete with Amazon, or something like that, but as far as them having to collect sales tax and everything, it's a step in the right direction as far as leveling the playing field with online competitors."

While Kansans will be paying more to buy online, the City of Pittsburg hopes the tax will be successful.

"When you understand that communities are built up of tax revenue and that's how they provide the services, you can see that it's starting to eat into it, so yeah, I think it's fair. I think it's good for the locals here, and we support it, and I think it's about time the state got involved in helping us out," said Pittsburg City Manager, Daron Hall.

Online retailers may have an edge when it comes to convenience, but small businesses develop personal relationships with customers that pay off.

"Whether it's our shop or any of the shops around town, you know, like I said, it's just a step in the right direction to collect sales tax on that now to make it a little even, more even," said Hill.

The Kansas Department of Revenue estimates the state will regain an additional $20 million to $40 million a year on additional revenues from remote retailers through the tax.

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