Georgia lawmakers will reconsider a bill that could result in tens of millions of dollars in new tax revenue for the state.
The Georgia Senate voted Monday to submit a Senate version of a House bill that would require sales and use taxes to be collected from retailers who coordinate the sale of products or provide services in the state.
House Bill 276 was proposed in the 2019 legislation session by Rep. Brett Harell, R–Snellville, and is now sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, R–Rome.
“It’s been done by over 30 states. Georgia definitely needs the revenue,” Hufstetler said. “We want to move forward as quickly as possible, so we can have an earlier implementation date.”
The bill adds to Georgia’s existing sales tax law a provision that would rename dealers “marketplace facilitators” to encompass electronic and physical companies or organizations who conduct business that produce sales in the state.
Marketplace facilitators are businesses that contract sales of their product or services through other retailers or oversee the production of those sales through services such as listings, payment processing, branding and customer service. Under the law, marketplace facilitators will be subject to collect sales taxes and remit them to the state, if its total sales for the previous year sum up to $100,000 or more.
Georgia State University's Fiscal Research Center estimated that, if implemented, the bill could bring in $76.5 million to $85.9 million in additional state revenue and $62.9 million to $70.7 million in additional local revenue within the first fiscal year.
Thirty-three states have enacted similar marketplace sales tax laws after the 2018 Supreme ruling in Dakota v. Wayfair. The court ruled that states could require sales taxes to be remitted by businesses without a physical presence in the state.
Georgia’s General Assembly passed a law during the 2018 legislative session that requires online retailers to collect the state's sales tax. However, HB 276 will include to the list ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft; lodging websites such as Airbnb; and auction sites such as eBay, according to fiscal analysts.
The marketplace facilitator bill was the first to see movement on the kick-off day of the legislative session. Hufstetler said he wanted to start the session off with a “bang.”
“As someone said, 'we may not have a revenue problem. We may have a collection problem,'” Hufstetler said. “We need to start collecting some of this money that is due to the state.”