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Internet sales tax could even playing field for brick and mortar stores

By JOLEEN FERRIS

NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. (WKTV) - Local business owners are watching the U.S. Senate Monday with one eye on their own cash registers.

The senate is expected to vote Monday evening on a bill that would give states the power to charge sales tax for online purchases. Currently, a state can only collect sales taxes if the online company has a brick and mortar store in that state. Most local business owners say it's only fair that online stores play by the same rules.

"People that buy on the internet have almost a nine percent advantage, so if they're going to have sales tax I think it has to be across the board," says Pete Bolos, of Big Apple Music in New Hartford.

Bolos says he's luckier than most, because many of his specialty items require some sort of installation or setup.

Richard Karaz, of the Sneaker Store in New Hartford, says it's an idea whose time has come.

"I don't want anyone to have to pay more sales tax than they have to, but the landscape of retail has changed," Karaz said. "And there are so many dollars traded on the net on a daily basis, enormous amount of sales on a daily basis that I think this is something that has to happen."

The measure is expected to pass the Senate but face opposition in the House.

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