WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Rep. Kearns Wants Online Tax Collected

Mar 24, 2014

One southeast Iowa lawmaker says a lack of action by the federal government is costing both the state and small businesses money.

Roughly half the states require websites like Amazon.com to collect sales taxes. Iowa does not.

Online companies without a physical presence in Iowa do not have to collect sales taxes on purchases made by Iowa residents.

State Representative Jerry Kearns (D-Keokuk) says changing that would make it easier for small businesses in Iowa to compete with websites like Amazon.com and Overstock.com.

He says it would also generate millions of dollars for the state.

Kearns says this is an interstate commerce issue so the Iowa Legislature cannot act without congressional action.

He says whenever he has the opportunity, he raises the issue to Iowa’s Congressional delegation.  That includes U.S. Senators Charles Grassley and Tom Harkin.

Kearns made his comments following a legislative forum in Fort Madison.