Nearly half the states, including West Virginia, have signed onto the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement. Online and catalog retailers voluntarily agree to levy sales taxes on behalf of compact participants. Deputy Revenue Secretary Mark Muchow said it has yielded $4 million to $5 million annually for West Virginia.
"It's been somewhat successful in collecting revenue for the state," Muchow said Wednesday.
However, a recent University of Tennessee study estimates that West Virginia missed $50.6 million in sales tax revenues from e-commerce last year.
"It is the position of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce that everyone who owes tax should pay it," Chamber President Steve Roberts said. "We are happy to support the governor in his proposal, to ensure that those who owe tax are either collecting the tax or are paying it from their own resources."
Sales and use taxes are projected to bring in nearly $1.2 billion during the fiscal year that ends June 30 - that's close to 30 percent of West Virginia's general tax revenues. The taxes had yielded $727 million by the end of January, or nearly 1 percent below their to-date estimate.
Little or no growth is projected for general tax revenues during the coming fiscal year.
Tomblin's legislation has been assigned to the House and Senate finance committees.