96°F
weather icon Clear

Small businesses hope new Nevada tax rules curb e-commerce giants

FFaced with competition from online sales, Renee Poole figured, if you can’t beat them, join them.

The owner of Not Just Antiques Mart in Las Vegas, Poole has been migrating more and more of her business to online auctions.

“The kids have totally changed the marketplace,” she said. “I think people don’t like shopping at stores anymore.”

Poole hopes revised Nevada regulations will help even the playing field for brick-and-mortar retailers like her.

State rules that took effect Oct. 1 require online retailers without a physical presence in Nevada to collect and pay a sales tax of 8.25 percent in Clark County. This means a purchase of $100 online will have the added sales tax of $8.25.

Companies like Amazon and Bed Bath &Beyond with physical property in the state have already had to pay sales tax on online sales. But in June, the Supreme Court ruled that states may tax companies like Wayfair, Overstock.com and Newegg even if they don’t have property in the state. This removes one advantage those companies have over businesses like Poole’s.

Affected companies must start collecting sales tax the first day of the month that is 30 days after the company’s sales in Nevada exceed $100,000 or the company makes 200 or more separate transactions for delivery into the state.

Those rules should help protect small businesses that sell online from paying the tax, said Mike PeQueen, managing director and partner at wealth management firm HighTower Las Vegas.

Revenue targets

Tax revenue from online sales should grow as more people buy over the internet. But the state doesn’t expect it to result in an immediate windfall.

State estimates show $850 million more in sales will get taxed with the new rules. That brings the total amount of online retail sales the state can tax to around $2.1 billion, or about 5 percent of all taxable sales, according to the state Department of Taxation.

Department estimates show that collecting sales tax from online businesses could add between $17 million and $29 million annually to the state general fund, which receives 2 percent of the sales tax, according to the department.

“It will, however, take time to reach many of the affected businesses and bring them into compliance,” according to a statement from the state Department of Taxation.

Nevada’s rules follow those in South Dakota, the state that bested online retailers in the Supreme Court decision, said John Buhl, spokesman for The Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan Washington-based think tank.

Poole said that, even with the revised sales tax, she still fears competition from antique marketplaces on social media websites where sellers ignore taxes.

For Tom Clark of North Las Vegas, shopping online is a necessity.

E-commerce is sometimes easier than brick-and-mortar stores for Clark, a military veteran who gets around using a wheelchair and his service dog, Magnum.

He said he is now more likely to look on social media websites for private sellers, avoid the tax and pay the lowest price he can find. But he understands why governments want to tax online sales.

“Death and taxes,” Clark said. “You can’t get around either one of them.”

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Air ambulance company responds to Pahrump transport cost concerns

The director of communications and government affairs of Air Methods, the parent company of Pahrump’s Mercy Air, has issued a response regarding the circumstances of a Pahrump resident who was billed more than $50,000 for an air ambulance flight from Pahrump to a Las Vegas medical facility.

1 transported to UMC Trauma after Nevada Highway 160 crash

Crews from Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Services responded to what was described as a suspicious vehicle fire on Saturday, June 8 at approximately 9:41 p.m.

Nye County District Attorney’s Report

Editor’s note: The Nye County District Attorney’s Report is provided by the office of DA Chris Arabia. Plans call for it to be provided on a monthly basis as the information becomes available. This report is for May 2019 unless noted. Duplicate names represent separate cases.

Pahrump’s Laraine Babbitt crowned queen

Grace, elegance and poise were on full display as the five lovely ladies competing in the 2019 Ms. Senior Golden Years USA Pageant took to the stage before hundreds of avid attendees inside the Saddle West Showroom.

Pahrump Animal Shelter services contract decision set for Tuesday

The current contract for operation of the Pahrump Animal Shelter is almost at an end and the Nye County Commission must make the decision as to which organization the new contract will be awarded to.

Pahrump Valley Times refreshes its website

The website of the Pahrump Valley Times — pvtimes.com — features a refreshed look unveiled this week.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Wednesday, June 12 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $53 million.

Flag Day ceremony in Pahrump honoring veterans

Nathan Adelson Hospice announced it will be holding a special “We Honor Veterans” pinning ceremony today, June 14 in Pahrump to coincide with Flag Day.