OIA Signs Amicus Brief in E-commerce Case Pending Before the U.S. Supreme Court

By Rich Harper March 7, 2018

Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) has joined several other trade associations in submitting an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of South Dakota’s effort to collect sales tax on remote internet sales. The case before the court would set a precedent that would apply nationwide.

Last year, the South Dakota Supreme Court ruled that a 2016 law requiring out-of-state internet retailers to collect sales tax violates a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision that said retailers are not required to collect sales tax in states where they do not have a physical presence. The state appealed the decision, and in January, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.

“It is a priority for OIA to make sure that all retailers, whether online, with one storefront, or hundreds, compete on a level playing field,” said Alex Boian, vice president of government affairs for OIA. “The Supreme Court’s ruling in South Dakota versus Wayfair and Overstock.com could determine the future of specialty outdoor retailers across the country and we believed the issue is important enough to make this statement to the court.”

Justice Anthony Kennedy has suggested that given the recent growth of internet sales, it is time for the Supreme Court to revisit the 1992 decision.  Oral arguments on the South Dakota case will take place before the Supreme Court on April 17, and a decision is expected in late June.

Brick-and-mortar outdoor retailers have been at a competitive disadvantage against remote sellers who do not always collect sales tax. OIA has strongly supported e-fairness legislation in Congress, in an effort to level the playing field for all retailers in the industry, regardless of channel.

You can learn more about e-fairness issues at www.efairness.org.