Governor Signs Law To Collect Online Sales Taxes

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — Internet shoppers in Illinois will soon find themselves having to pay sales tax on some purchases they make online, under a new state law signed by Gov. Pat Quinn on Thursday.

The legislation, approved by state lawmakers in the final days of the previous legislative session in January, requires online retailers to collect sales taxes if they have any affiliates based in Illinois. The law is effective immediately.

Previously, state law required websites like to collect sales taxes only if they had their own warehouse, factory or office in Illinois. Otherwise, Illinois consumers were required to pay sales taxes for online purchases directly to the state, but the state rarely enforced that law.

Officials estimated that the state has lost between $153 million and $170 million a year in sales tax revenue that had gone uncollected from online purchases.

Supporters of the new law have said the legislation creates a level playing field between online retailers and brick-and-mortar stores that already were required to collect sales taxes.

“Illinois’ main street businesses are critical to ensuring our long-term economic stability, which is why they must be able to compete with every company doing business online in Illinois,” Quinn said in a written statement after signing the legislation. “This law will put Illinois-based businesses on a level playing field, protect and create jobs and help us continue to grow in the global marketplace.”

The Illinois Retail Merchants Association also supported the legislation.

“This puts Illinois as a national leader in restoring fairness – fairness for retailers, fairness for the economy but most importantly, fairness for taxpayers,” The group’s president, David Vite, said. “Thanks to the leadership of the legislature and the Governor’s action today, we can all rest easier knowing that the right policy prevailed and everyone is now on an even playing field.”

But opponents have said the new law will drive businesses out of state. Some Internet businesses, including Amazon, have threatened to shut down or fire their Illinois affiliates to avoid collecting sales taxes from Illinois customers, which could lead to hundreds of layoffs.

  • john

    All Democrats are going to pay… at the next election that is.

    • Moderate

      We pay every time you post!

    • nitzie

      And we know the Republicans will make a difference??????

      • jgloots

        Yeah, right.

  • Tax Happy (JOB KILLING) Dem TNUCS!!!!

    The damage is already done!!! Good luck un-doing all that these rats have accomplished in dragging this state further down!!!

  • Larry Polte

    Tax tax and tax some more! This is the Quinn Mantra. Each and every person who voted for this clown should be slapped upside the head for being STUPID!!!!!!

    • KE

      Larryy — I think you will have to start slapping yourself first if you think that this is all about taxing the people of Illinois.
      This is about EXACTLY what Quinn said — saving the brick and mortar stores and the jobs that go along with them.

      If you drive around many areas in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs you will see ssssoooo many strip malls and stores empty that it is pathetic — and with those store closings went the jobs — many jobs in retail where MANY people without College degree, a HS diploma, a GED, etc work.

      Drove thru a somewhat afluent community near Schaumburg just yesterday and many of the giant strip malls had about a 90% vacancy rates.

      Just think about it — this month alone all the Blockbuster free standing stores closed, many clothing stores, electronics stores, gourmet shops, so many long tiime businesses who say that they just can NOT compete against Amazon and Amazon Marketplace.

      There is a A LOT that i do not agree with Quinn about, but this one is one that I wholeheartedly approve of.

      • RegularGuy

        Saving the ‘brick-and-mortar’ stores is a laudable goal, but the way to do that isn’t to tax the daylights out of everything else.

        The Amazon affiliates who will close ARE the ‘brick-and-mortar’ stores Quinn says he’s saving.

        It would never occur to Quinn that maybe CUTTING SPENDING means he could LOWER taxes on those ‘brick-and-mortar’ stores.

        All this law does is to drive consumers to other online retailers who have no ‘nexus’ to Illinois. The revenues and the jobs go to THEIR states, not ours.

    • Patricia Hanas

      I so agree with you! Stupid is not the word. it is not only the internet taxes here in Illinois, its all the taxes. We have the highest taxes in the country. Everyone is in trouble and these stupid idiots, just put in more. Believe me people will leave. My husband and I cannot wait to move out of Illinois. All they choose to do is to keep lining there pockets. If they had on-line business, maybe they would get the drift, but with there mentality, probably not! Thank you GOV Quinn for hurting people in their business! Check out JOE’s comment down the row. He is right! It will hurt Chicago Business anyway. People will just by the same item from another state on-line. How does Quinn think is going to work? What a moron!

  • Skorps

    Illinois just keeps getting better and better! Hooray for this wonderful state!

  • Michelle

    I don’t know how that maroon can sleep at night for passing all these taxes!

  • Lew

    This clown could care less about Illinois’ businesses. If he did, he would not have raised the corporate tax and income tax. And now he’s raising taxes for online businesses? He is destroying our state. I condemn all the idle welfare recipients and people who don’t pay taxes that voted for him.

    • KE

      Lew — you are mistaken he is not RAISING the taxes on online businesses — he is COLLECTING them — the taxes that thesse Illinois businesses should ahve been paying all along.

      • Lew

        I read you earlier comment to Larry and respect your point of view. I just hate everything Quinn does.

  • Don Wagner

    I hope all the Democratic sheep that voted for these clowns are happy now!!

  • Joe

    The shipping charge from online shopping is close to the cost of the sales tax. Making it equal to brick and mortar stores. Now with the sales tax it will cost more to shop online Illinois stores vs brick and mortar stores. However, people will still shop online because it is convenient and will do so from online stores not located in Illinois. Once again, they will tax away and the local businesses will lose. If I buy something online and during check out there is tax added to the cost, I just cancel my order and keep looking.

    • KE

      Joe — apparently you have no teenage children, less educated friends,/parentsrelatives that currently need a job.

      Teenagers at some of the best Chicago and suburban high school can not even find a job unless they work at a Dollar Tree, Papa John’s, or Subway these days. For many of the jobs out there — it is a parent/business network that must be utilized for your teenager, wife, etc to get a job.

      • Joe

        When I was 16-18 I worked at McDonalds. It gave the the inspiration and desire to go to college. You can not stop progress. People will migrate to online shopping because of convenience and cost (gas, parking). He is not going to stop that process and all he is looking for is the sales tax money to spend it. Anywhere in the article does it say the money will go back into keeping businesses here? Face it, VCR gave way to DVDs (your blockbuster comment) and now DVD’s are giving way to Netflixs..

  • OB

    I have received letters from stating my affiliate marketing agreements will be terminated after this business and income killing bill was signed. Thanks Gov. Quinn – you just made my decision to move even easier.

  • Gerald Spencer

    For all the retailers that supported this bill, there is no level playing field. Most of what people buy on the Internet is not available at retailers in Illinois. They aren’t going to get any business away from the Internet. I do agree, however, that if one who is in Illinois, buys in Illinois, should pay Illinois sales tax. I never heard of the law that says we were always responsible for paying the state, I heard of that about cigarettes via the Internet and even if you cross the state line to get cigarettes, and I heard of the state of Illinois actually sending tax bills to on-line cigarette buyers. I don’t think this is going to result in a great deal of revenue for the state but I realize, “A penny pinched, is a penny earned.”

  • Vicky

    Guess he needs $$$ to pay for the murderers we ‘saved’ from Death Row.

  • egor

    What is the gutless liar going to do with the 180 mil?
    Hire 700 more state workers like he want’s to .

  • Jim Schwake

    You know, all of are entiled to an opinion, and wwe can express it by our constitutuional law. Isn’t that great?
    Where did all the legislators go when the state is in real trouble? I think “spring break?” Legislators need less paid holidays, pensions, insurance contribution increaes, and lower salaries, automobiles, aids, it goes on and on.
    Personally I used to like Quinn as an advocate for consumers. Wow, what a turnaround.
    Sleep tight hope you eventually feel the pain your constituants are feeling everyday.

  • Dino

    The only thing Illinois is a leader in is systematically destroying itself with taxes while enriching nearby states with people, jobs, and revenue….I fully expect the next census to show our first overall population decline in history. All these internet sites will be the next ones to high tail it out of Illinois affecting yet more jobs. I wonder who will be turning out the proverbial light in Illinois when they are the last to leave, it won’t be ME!

  • KittyKats

    I just lost my extra income from amazon because of this stupid tax.

  • Governor Signs Law To Collect Online Sales Taxes

    […] shoppers in Illinois will soon find themselves having to pay sales tax on some purchases they make online, under a new state law signed by Gov. Pat Quinn on […]

  • JiRsW

    I wonder if one of the reasons that the guv pulled this stunt is that IL isn’t seeing the USE(less) TAX being paid on purchases made online?

  • RedGlint

    “This law will put Illinois-based businesses on a level playing field, protect and create jobs and help us continue to grow in the global marketplace.” What? What metrics where used in measuring this “level playing field”? I’m not refuting that online sales shouldn’t be taxed, but, I AM refuting that putting a new tax on anything and claiming it helps “protect and create jobs and help us continue to grow in the global marketplace” is pure communistic union puppet babble.

  • G 4


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