The Supreme Court’s decision to impose a new tax on online retailers will hurt small businesses and consumers across the country, asserts Jessica Melugin of The New York Times. It passed a tax that would apply to shoppers based on where they live, not where they buy their products from. This prevents consumers from rewarding states that keep their taxes low, which drives competition and helps businesses grow. It would also create significant new compliance costs for sites like Etsy or eBay, which promote small entrepreneurs selling their products. The change will hamper small businesses and hold back competition.
Online retailers have long been boosted with tax laws that gave them a significant competitive advantage. The Supreme Court ruling to tax online businesses based on their clients’ locations re-establishes the balance with brick-and-mortar retailers, argues the editorial board of USA Today. Instead of consumers walking into their stores and then ordering online, physical shops will be able to compete with online shopping sites. Especially small retailers, who were hit particularly hard by the e-commerce boom, will benefit from this change. Their success will boost tax revenue locally, now that the playing field has been evened out.