On Monday, local State Reps Kathy Heuer, R-Columbia City and Matt Lehman, R-Berne, and members of the Indiana Retail council visited the Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce to discuss the state's sales tax.
Under federal law, states cannot collect sales tax from online retailers unless they have a physical presence in that state. Members of the Indiana retail council argue the rule puts traditional brick-and-mortar stores at a competitive disadvantage.
"What's happening is the government is picking winners and losers," says Grant Monahan, President of the Indiana Retail Council. "[The state is] allowing the Internet retailer who doesn't employ Hoosiers and doesn't pay property taxes to have an advantage over local stores."
Although state lawmakers can't do much about the problem until federal law is changed, some are making attempts to increase the amount of sales tax coming in.
Rep. Heuer and Rep. Lehman both said Monday that they would be supporting legislation in the upcoming session that would force Amazon.com to begin collecting sales tax immediately.
Currently, the site is not required to collect tax until 2014 because of an incentive agreement signed by Gov. Mitch Daniels when Amazon built its first distribution centers in Indiana.