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Four days into the 2020 General Assembly session the lawmakers agreed to a new internet and app sales tax measure that could provide a major boost to the state’s shaky bottom line.


House and Senate leaders agreed Thursday morning to legislation aimed at forcing “marketplace facilitators” whose websites or apps are used to sell goods or services provided by someone else to collect and remit sales taxes. It would go into effect April 1.


Different versions of the bill passed the chambers last session, but the two sides couldn’t strike a deal.


A report in June by a group called the Faith, Justice and Truth Project said the state is losing nearly $750 million a year in sales taxes not collected from such online “marketplace facilitators” of sales.



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Facing the prospect of tough budget cuts, state lawmakers say they will move quickly to pass legislation that will require some popular third-party sellers to charge a sales tax on online purchases.


It’s a change that could frustrate voters who have grown accustomed to tax-free online shopping on sites like Walmart.com and Etsy.com even as shoppers at traditional brick-and-mortar stores, and even some online retailers like Amazon, pony up extra for the tax. But it’s also a change that even conservative estimates show could pour about $150 million a year into the state’s coffers.


“As someone has said, we may not have a revenue problem. We may have a collection problem, and we need to start collecting on this money that’s due to the state,” Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, a Rome Republican who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, told senators Monday.


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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- Georgia lawmakers returned to the state Capitol Monday morning to convene the 2020 legislative session.


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Senate Majority Leader Mike Dugan, R-Carrollton, lead the meeting explaining that Senate lawmakers are trying to build revenue by recovering revenue that has been unpaid to the state for years.


“Another part of being fiscally responsible is collecting what’s due to you,” Dugan said.


The Senate majority believes that Georgia has been missing out on hundreds of millions of dollars in state sales taxes from online retailers that have not paid the state’s sales tax rate adequately like brick and mortar businesses have.


“We’ve got a revenue issue, but bigger than that we’ve got a collection issue,” Dugan said. “We need to be collecting the money that’s due Georgia so that those that are paying their fair taxes don’t have to pay more.”


“We’ve got the marketplace facilitator which we made a motion on today that we hope to take care of very quickly in this session. Over 30 states have implemented this,” Sen. Chuck Huffstetler, R-Rome, said that this will be a clean bill. “Air BnB, walmart.com, homedepot.com. Google and Amazon all agreed to be facilitators to help the state bring in this money that is owed, that is not being collected at this time. This is going to be a big revenue source for the state of Georgia,” he added.


He explained that the state is only receiving around $10 million of the more than $80 million that Walmart.com brings in from online sales each year.


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