Ontario County board pushes state over online sales tax

As state lawmakers continue budget negotiations, the Ontario County Board of Supervisors is calling on the state Senate and Assembly to include a provision that would protect retail businesses.

The Internet Fairness Conformity Tax would ensure online businesses are required to collect the same sales tax as traditional retail stores. The provision is in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget and estimated to generate $159 million in revenue for counties in the first year.

“Our local brick-and-mortar stores are essential to Ontario County’s economic engine. They provide great jobs and significant retail revenue, both of which are jeopardized by online businesses that are not held to the same standards for paying sales tax,” board Chairman Jack Marren said. “We urge our partners in the Senate and Assembly to enact this proposal so our shopkeepers on Main Street and in our shopping malls can continue to remain competitive and thriving.”

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