SALT LAKE CITY — A bill designed to force online retailers to collect sales tax for the products they sell was approved Tuesday by a Senate committee.

SB226 modifies the circumstances under which a person may be required to collect and remit sales and use taxes to the State Tax Commission.

Supporters of the measure say it would "level the playing field" for all retailers, whether online or "brick and mortar," and help the state collect an estimated $180 million in sales taxes that are currently being missed out on. Critics have argued that, if approved, the bill would hurt small businesses that operate primarily online.

By a unanimous vote, the bill was given a favorable recommendation by the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee and advanced to the full Senate.

Jasen Lee

Twitter: JasenLee1