December 6, 2011 11:55:00 AM
Gov. Haley Barbour is now backing a congressional proposal to allow states to directly collect sales taxes from Internet and catalog merchants.
Barbour expressed support in a letter last week. One estimate shows that Mississippi and its local governments will lose more than $300 million in 2012 because such retailers do not collect the state's 7 percent sales tax. Consumers are supposed to pay use taxes on their state income tax returns, but few do.
The federal bill sets conditions for states to collect the taxes, including providing software and services to Internet and catalog retailers.
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