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Governor Corbett Exploring Ways To Collect Taxes From Online Purchases

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) - A spokesman says Governor Corbett is exploring ways to collect sales taxes from purchases made via the Internet and other out-of-state retailers.

It's estimated that hundreds of millions of sales tax dollars go uncollected each year because of purchases made on the Internet or from other retailers located out of state. But getting that money is not an easy task.

Christopher Rants is president of the Main Street Fairness Coalition, which contends that failure to collect sales taxes from out-of-state retailers is unfair to local, main street businesses. But he says, because states have different definitions of taxable items, the US Supreme Court told states they must streamline their definitions, which many have done, "And then you have to go back to Congress and ask Congress to authorize it, because it's interstate trade."

Until Congress acts, states can only collect from out-of-state retailers on a voluntary basis, which nets only a fraction of the revenue that would be collected it were mandatory.

Reported by Harrisburg Bureau Chief Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio 1060

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