Would you change your shopping habits if online retailers started collecting sales tax?

Legislators are considering a proposal requiring online retailers to collect sales taxes when Minnesota customers make purchases. Today’s Question: Would you change your shopping habits if online retailers started collecting sales tax?

  • reggie

    I try to buy locally already, so a change in my purchasing won’t make much of a difference, but if online retailers were obligated to play by the same rules as the bricks-and-mortar retailers in my community and collect sales tax, it would help level the playing field. Then retailers could compete on the basis of price, quality and service. I’d probably use online to comparison shop and then go to a local merchant to buy — the reverse of how many people “shop” today.

  • Rudy


    The few dollars that sales tax may effect the price of an item is not a problem for me. For me, the online experience is all about price and convenience of free shipping. If I could purchase an item for nearly the same price, I would choose bricks overs clicks.

  • Gary F

    Not really. The only thing I really buy online is clothes, which aren’t taxed anyways

  • Ann

    Minnesota does require that Internet shoppers pay sales tax. Look at page 16 of the tax instructions. If people aren’t doing this, close the loopholes and charge it with the transaction. I don’t shop online and only buy food since I have been unemployed for a long time.

  • Jim G

    When we buy on-line it is because the product is difficult to find locally. Taxes? I pay my taxes without whining, so I’ll pay the MN state sales tax for on-line purchases when or if they start collecting them and I’ll do it without whining. By the way …don’t forget to file your Federal and your state returns by the end of the day. You have the privilege of paying for our civilized society! No whining, please. Civilization is a terrible thing to lose.

  • Jim G


    The IRS Tax filing deadline is on Tuesday, April 17, 2012.

  • Sieglinde Gassman

    I would continue to shop online as much as I do for the convenience and ability to compare prices easily. I would happily pay Minnesota the taxes due on these purchases through the on-line merchant. I agree that it is a disadvantage to the retailers in our communities when they have to collect the taxes and on-line retailers don’t. I will be happy when this is fixed and Minnesota gets this tax revenue.

  • Lacey

    Nope. There are a lot of retailers that already do. I still shop with them. My last online purchase was with shutterfly, tax was charged.

  • Peter

    YES- it’s the last great bastion of free trade our bloated government doesn’t have its money grubbing hands on.

  • Bose in St Peter MN

    I recently tried to make a $1000+ purchase from Dell, on which the full sales tax was going to be levied. I don’t know if other manufacturers had comparable online options on which taxes wouldn’t have been charged, but that wouldn’t have been a driving factor for me.

    As it turned out, once Dell bungled the order, I didn’t have time to restart the process and wait for shipping, or pay an extra premium for quicker delivery.

    I bought from a local big box store.

  • Kate

    Wouldn’t change my habits. I’m busy and don’t like the hassle of shopping. If I can have something delivered to my door for about the same price, I buy it online. There is almost nothing I wouldn’t buy online.

  • http://www.foundingfathersforum.com Jefferson

    Ann – [Minnesota does require that Internet shoppers pay sales tax. Look at page 16 of the tax instructions. If people aren't doing this, close the loopholes and charge it with the transaction. I don't shop online and only buy food since I have been unemployed for a long time.] *** Please keep in mind that you must spend more than $770 before you will be taxed on online purchases. Just take a look at Minnesota Revenue Sales Tax Fact Sheet #156. Most people are not breaking the law since many people will not spend more than $770 on online purchases in a given year.

  • finn

    No, I would not. I purchase a lot online not only because it is great to have items delivered to my doorstep, but also because it is much easier to find and compare items online. Online reviews often help me choose good items. I also find that regardless of the sales tax, most online items are (much) less expensive than at local retailers.

    I have always thought that retailers like Target and Best Buy ought to be careful…if they think that making online retailers pay sales tax will suddenly make people stop buying online and shop at their brick and mortar stores, they have another thing coming! It is sad that they don’t study “customer experience” and understand how consumers shop today.

  • bluevegan

    More taxes, give me a break! Although, I’m already taxed on some purchases, I’d have to consider the additional cost, I’m on a budget. It sure would change my shopping habits, I’d purchase less.

  • Wendellone

    No, I buy online because I like the better variety and convenience. The sales tax would be an after-thought.

  • GregX

    not a bit. retail without taxation is unfair competition.What I would prefer to see is lower sales tax applied to services as well because it will let income and real-estate taxes ease down. The state of Minnesota needs to strengthen its revenue from the sales tax . I think that will be accomplished by broadening its scope and lower the overall rate. I’d like to see it on processed and addititve foods – like potato chips, soda pop , pop-tatrs and chips ahoy cookies; but not on unprocessed foods like meats, fresh veggies/fruit, dairy ( OK cheeses too) .

  • Ron


    Online shopping is incredibly convenient, whether it be from an out-of-state retailer for stuff I can buy at about a dozen places within five miles of my home or the little specialty shop in Winona where I can find things I can’t easily find locally (if at all). Smart retailers understand this and know there is a segment of the market that will pay for that convenience.

    But, IMO, all retailers selling in Minnesota should be subject to the same rules, regardless of their location. And the responsibility needs to be on the retailers to track and enforce (cost of doing business here) or face fines/restrictions by the state. THAT is fair.

  • Lawrence

    Once again, the question becomes what excuse will Republicans tell us for passing this legislation, because the excuse Republicans told us last time (this is not a tax, it is a user fee) was very insulting to those of us with common sense. Moreover, once again, the Republicans are in favor of taxing us little people on the ground, but when Dayton proposed taxing some of the people who live in the clouds, the Republicans were dead set against it. So, again, what rationale are the Republicans providing us, and when will the cloud people be treated the same as us ants here on Earth?

  • Steve the Cynic

    I kicked my shopping habit long ago, when I realized that having stuff doesn’t make me happy. Now I only buy stuff that’s actually useful or pleasurable.

  • georges

    “I’d like to see it on processed and addititve foods – like potato chips, soda pop…”

    Sales tax is already on those items. Class of foods called “Snack Foods”, which is not protected from the Sales Tax.

    “Cloud People”? People who live in the Clouds?

    Mark Dayton is, you know, extremely wealthy. One of the cloudiest of Cloud People. Never worked a day in his life. Not at anything us Ant People would call “work”, that is. Just some mouth flappin’ government fake jobs.

    Perhaps, though, some believe what Dayton put out when he was running for Gov. That his income in the previous year was 170K. Really? Anyone here believe that? I don’t think 170K would pay his wine bill for a year.

    And, of course, Mark Dayton still calls up his Frat Brother for advice. Dubya Bush. Two wealthy guy peas in a pod.

  • Wally

    No. I actually pay sales tax on the stuff I order online, both big and small purchases. Sales tax is the only truly fair and constitutional tax we have, and is not “regressive” as many claim. If you don’t want to pay sales tax, don’t buy stuff. And the “rich” pay more sales tax than the “poor” because the “rich” spend more.

  • Lance

    Smart shoppers will weigh all the factors including those of total price including tax, speed and convenience.