“It’s just too much for someone to have to do,” said Jennifer Platt, vice president of federal operations with New York City-based The International Council of Shopping Centers, which conducted the survey of 1,007 adults from May 3 to May 6.
A majority of consumers — 56 percent — also said they support efforts by Congress to allow states to force online retailers to collect and remit sales taxes, according to the survey.
The difference in the two numbers has a lot to do with the fact that only 38 percent of consumers even knew there was legislation in the works, Platt said. Understanding and awareness of what proponents call “tax fairness” issues is still in its infancy, she said.
Central Pennsylvania bricks-and-mortar retailers, including Dauphin County appliance store Rozman Bros. Inc., have been influential in pushing for collection and remittance of sales taxes for online purchases, and helped announce legislation in Congress earlier this year.
Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration told online retailers in December they would be required to collect and remit sales taxes this year. Online retailers have until September to begin collecting.
However, that’s caused some small companies in the state, known as affiliates, to lose business with large online retail outfits. Affiliates have contracts to promote sales with online retailers through independent referral sites.
“What we see about future retail is that it will be multichannel,” Platt said. “But we can’t get there until we treat all retail sales the same.”