Bill seeks to apply sales tax to online purchases

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Legislation aimed at forcing online retailers to start collecting sales taxes is making headway in the Florida Legislature.

The proposal is aimed at forcing online retailers such as to collect the state's 6 percent sales tax. The bill (SB 316) cleared the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Finance and Tax on Thursday.

Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Sarasota, says it's a long overdue update to Florida's tax code. She says the bill isn't a tax increase, because it calls for sales tax holidays or a cut in the communications service tax rate to offset the revenue raised by extending the sales tax to online purchases.

She estimated that taxing online purchases could raise $400 million each year.

The bill drew support from business groups in the state.

Similar legislation is being considered in the Florida House.

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