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Senate To Take Up Bill Allowing Online Shopping Tax

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR business news begins with a tax on online shopping.

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GREENE: The Senate voted yesterday to take up a bill that would allow states to force online retailers to collect state and local sales taxes. Currently, states can only require brick and mortar stores to collect the sales tax. This greatly benefits online shoppers, who save by not paying the tax, as well as big online retailers, like Amazon.com.

Online sales in the United States totaled $226 billion last year, so the tax would also help government budgets, and supporters say would level the playing field for local businesses who already do have to charge sales tax. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.