WM Council endorses online sales tax collections

WM Council endorses online sales tax collections

City signs off on resolution to follow legislative mandate to collect on Internet purchases


West Memphis went mining for a pot of gold during its first meeting in August.

Councilors unanimously endorsed a resolution supporting federal and state legislation to assess and collect sales taxes on items bought over the Internet.

The title of the resolution included the purpose statement that taxing purchases on the Internet would “create a fair and free market regardless of the business location.” But, such legislation would in fact serve to hand a new sales tax rake to local governments and increase costs to consumers ordering packages shipped and ordered on the web.

The resolution came the same day the city sales taxes through June were handed over to city council showing collections slightly behind last year.

Sales tax was up for the month, but remained in the red year-to-date, standing at -$88,943.11, down 2.18 percent.

By contrast, county sales tax was off just a fraction, down $1,716.

Mayor Bill Johnson explained the reason for the resolution to city council in a work session prior to the meeting.

“This has been circulated among the majority of mayors in Arkansas,” said Johnson. “It encourages the governor to call a session to address sales tax on Internet sales.”

The mayor and city councilors saw the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

“It is a large, large number of sales tax dollars,” said Johnson. “We are just participating with the other cities in Arkansas.”

City councilors concurred with a unanimous vote.

“It is untapped money,” said Councilor Wayne Croom.

“I think it is a good thing, because this is one of the things the Municipal League has been pushing, fighting for,” said Councilor James Pulliaum.

By John Rech