In 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that online retailers would be required to pay state taxes, but what has it done for traditional retailers?
After the South Dakota v. Wayfair ruling, some believed that there would be a renewed boost to brick and mortar retailers. The North Dakota Tax Commissioner’s latest report detailing the third quarter taxable sales shows that retail in the state grew by 6.3 percent, which the Tax Commissioner stated in a release was a result of the ruling.
While retail increased by $103 million in the third quarter, what impact are business owners themselves seeing from the ruling?
The Williston Herald spoke with some local retailers, and while they said some increase has been noticed, overall the ruling has not changed much in their businesses.
“I haven’t really noticed any changes,” Style Uncorked Boutique owner Kim Wenko told the Williston Herald. “I personally haven’t seen any increases because on the online sales tax.”
Falon Justice of Bride to Be & More echoed the sentiment, saying that she has never had anyone say the online sales tax had brought them in to her store. Books on Broadway owner Chuck Wilder said that while he has noticed an increase in sales, he could not say how much could be attributed to the sales tax ruling.
“I haven’t noticed much, but I’m sure it’s helped,” Wilder said. “Our sales are up, but I don’t know how much of it would be to people that would ordinarily order online. But I think it’s a really great thing that they’re charging sales tax. It levels the playing field.”
Williston Economic Development Director Shawn Wenko said that while increases may not be noticeable, shopping locally is still vital to the economy, as well as the local community as a whole.
“I always point out in Williston, try to shop local first and give those local vendors the first chance,” he said. “And if feel that the prices aren’t fair, that’s fair and you can look elsewhere. But we always say try to look local first and give those guys the benefit of the doubt, because it’s the local retailers that are sponsoring the softball teams and the kids sports athletics and making the donations out there. We want everyone to be cognizant of that. They’re an important part of the makeup of our community.”