The question of whether Mississippians will be required to start paying sales tax on online purchases moved forward Monday when the House of Representatives passed a bill on to the Senate.
House Bill 480 originally passed the House last Wednesday on a 77 to 40 vote, but the bill was held on a motion to reconsider. Representatives tried to get it off that calendar the next day, but failed.
On Monday, the motion to reconsider was tabled on a 67-48 vote, and the bill passed out of the House, which gives it a chance to be taken up in the Senate.
The bill would require businesses with more than $250,000 in sales but no physical presence in Mississippi to collect state sales tax from customers.
The Mississippi Department of Revenue announced last month that online retailer Amazon would begin collecting sales tax from Mississippians beginning Feb. 1.
In floor debate last week, Rep. Trey Lamar, R-Senatobia, defending the bill, called it a user fee on out-out-state Internet businesses and not a tax increase. Lamar also said it was tantamount to “criminal tax evasion” to not pay sales tax on online purchases.
Lamar said that the tax would generate between $50 million and $150 million per year. Provisions in the bill call for 70 percent of the funds to be used for roads and bridges; another 15 percent would go to counties and 15 percent would be distributed to municipalities.
The bill has generated some stiff opposition from other Republicans. Rep. Joel Bomgar, R-Madison, said Mississippi voters did not send a Republican supermajority to the House to raise taxes.
House members who voted Monday for a bill imposing an internet sales tax:
Shane Aguirre, R-Tupelo; Willie Bailey, D-Greenville; Nick Bain, D-Corinth; Mark Baker, R-Brandon; Toby Barker, R-Hattiesburg; Shane Barnett, R-Waynesboro; Manly Barton, R-Moss Point; Charles Beckett, R-Bruce; Donnie Bell, R-Fulton; Richard Bennett, R-Long Beach; Scott Bounds, R-Philadelphia; Cedric Burnett, D-Tunica; Charles Busby, R-Pascagoula; Larry Byrd, R-Petal; Credell Calhoun, D-Jackson; Lester Carpenter, R-Burnsville; Angela Cockerham, D-Magnolia; Carolyn Crawford, R-Pass Christian; Scott DeLano, R-Biloxi; Deborah Butler Dixon, D-Raymond; Casey Eure, R-Biloxi; Bob Evans, D-Monticello; Michael T. Evans, D-Preston; John Faulkner, D-Holly Springs; Karl Gibbs, D- West Point; Andy Gipson, R-Braxton; Jeffrey Guice, R-Ocean Springs; Philip Gunn, R-Clinton; Greg Haney, R-Gulfport; Stephen Holland, D-Plantersville; Rep. Gregory Holloway, D-Hazlehurst; Kevin Horan, D-Grenada; Steve Horne, R-Meridian; Mac Huddleston, R-Pontotoc; Robert Huddleston, D-Sumner; Jay Hughes, D-Oxford; Trey Lamar, R-Senatobia; Vince Mangold, R-Jackson; Steve Massengill, R-Hickory Flat; Doug McLeod, R-Lucedale; Roun McNeal, R-Leakesville; Nolan Mettetal, R-Sardis; America Middleton, D-Port Gibson; Sam Mims, R-McComb; Alex Monsour, R-Vicksburg; Ken Morgan, R-Morgantown; David Myers, D-McComb; Karl Oliver, R-Winona; Randall Patterson, R-Biloxi; Bill Pigott, R-Tylertown; Brent Powell, R-Brandon; John Read, R-Gautier; Thomas Reynolds, D-Charleston; Rob Roberson, R-Starkville; Margaret Rogers, R-New Albany; Ray Rogers, R-Pearl; Noah Sanford, R-Collins; Donnie Scoggin, R-Ellisville; Jeffrey Smith, R-Columbus; Greg Snowden, R-Meridian; Gary Staples, R-Laurel; Jody Steverson, R-Ripley; Preston Sullivan, D-Okolona; Jerry Turner, R-Baldwin; Tom Weathersby, R-Florence; Jason White, R-West; Cory Wilson, R-Madison.