The Norman Transcript

Headlines

March 12, 2013

State works to close Internet tax loophole

NORMAN — Oklahoma businesses are joining with its cities and counties to battle an increasing problem — loss of sales tax resulting from online sales. While much of the e-fairness battle is being fought in Washington, D.C., Oklahoma lawmakers are doing what they can to close that tax loophole.

House Bill 1363  authored by Rep. Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville, amends the current Oklahoma Sales Tax Code by redefining and broadening what it means to have a presence in the state.

“Basically, what the bill does is says if you have a presence in Oklahoma, you must pay sales tax,” Sears said. “A company may be in another state but may have a relationship in Oklahoma that ships it out.”

In Oklahoma, sales tax is a major municipal revenue source that supports fire, police, infrastructure such as roads and bridges, and other essential city services. Any business that has a presence in Oklahoma has to pay state and local sales tax, but some vendors don’t have a retail presence in the state.

“As Internet shopping grows more popular, some out-of-state online retailers can take unfair advantage of a tax loophole as they compete with our local Main Street businesses who do so much for our community,” Norman Mayor Cindy Rosenthal said.

Locally, many brick and mortar retailers say they particularly feel the pinch as online shopping grows in popularity with the college crowd. For city leaders, the loss of tax revenue is a loss of funding for vital city services.

“Oklahoma municipalities have struggled with the impact of online sales on city revenue,” Rosenthal said. “Closing this loophole about ‘physical presence’ is a step in the right direction to create a level-playing field for local retailers and to fund necessary municipal services like police, fire and street maintenance.”

Sears believes the new definition of presence could get some giant online retailers like Amazon that have warehouse or other connections back in the loop and paying Oklahoma taxes.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Chamber Banquet During annual banquet, Chamber of Commerce promotes moving Norman forward

    Amidst the backdrop of music, dancing, dinner and fellowship, business leader Mike Fowler announced that the time for a quality-of-life initiative in Norman has come. As incoming Norman Chamber of Commerce board chairman, Fowler and ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Symposium speaker Paul Polik: Commerce can help and bring millions out of poverty

    How to harness the power of commerce to address social and environmental challenges in sustainable ways was the topic of discussion at the University of Oklahoma Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth’s fourth annual Social ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Amber waves turn gray as farms lose younger generation

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Jerry Pfeiffer was thrilled when his son, Kelsey, 25, announced plans to return to the family’s farm in Orlando....

    April 18, 2014

  • Postal retiree luncheon set

    A postal retiree luncheon will be 11:30 a.m. Monday at Golden Corral Buffet and Grill, 123 N. Interstate Drive in Norman. Diners will meet in the lobby. For more information, call Joyce Carle at 872-5157....

    April 18, 2014

  • Flapjack fundraiser set

    The Apple Gold Group, a franchisee of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar, will partner with the Global Outreach Team at Go Church to host a Flapjack Fundraiser on April 26. Proceeds raised will be used by team members to purchase ...

    April 18, 2014

  • OU Hornsemble goes to the movies

    The OU Hornsemble will present a concert of music from the cinema at 6 p.m. April 27 in the Paul F. Sharp Concert Hall. Billed as “Movie-Time Music,” the ensemble will present a wide variety of cinematic music from the 1940s to the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Judge asks pointed questions in gay marriage case

    DENVER — A judge in Colorado who will play a pivotal role deciding whether gays should be allowed to wed in the United States asked pointed questions Thursday about whether Oklahoma can legally ban the unions....

    April 18, 2014

  • Fallin disappointed SBAdenied loans

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Gov. Mary Fallin said Thursday she is disappointed that a federal agency denied a request for loans to businesses in two Oklahoma towns affected by an emergency bridge closure....

    April 18, 2014

  • Sudan: 12 die after mob attacks UN base

    JUBA, South Sudan — An angry mob of South Sudanese youths attacked a U.N. base on Thursday to harm members of an ethnic minority sheltering inside. Peacekeepers were forced to open fire, amid rampaging violence that killed at least 12 ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Woman bound over for trial

    A Slaughterville woman facing a manslaughter charge after the death of an 8-year-old child was bound over for trial this week after a preliminary hearing in Cleveland County District Court. Kimberly Dawn Wenthold, 29, was charged in ...

    April 18, 2014