SALT LAKE CITY — A bill that would extend sales tax collections on online purchases to more businesses was approved with bipartisan support by the full Utah Senate on Tuesday.
SB110 would require companies with at least $100,000 in online sales in the state to charge sales tax on purchases, even if they aren't based in Utah.
The bill advanced to the House with a 25-1 vote after no debate.
Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, cast the sole dissenting vote with no comment.
Under current state law, Utahns are supposed to pay sales taxes that aren't collected by online retailers on their state income tax returns, but legislative fiscal analysts estimate more than $220 million will go unpaid in the current budget year.
Supporters of the bill say the state needs to take action to protect local businesses that lose customers who choose to save money by shopping online from retailers that don't charge sales tax.
Opponents question whether it will be worth a possible legal fight — an expectation because existing court rulings don't require companies without a physical presence in the state to collect sales taxes.
The bill's sponsor, Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, has said he believes Utah and other states with similar legislation would win if the issue goes to court.
The Utah chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a political advocacy group for the Koch brothers, issued a statement after the Senate's vote, expressing disappointment.
"These laws have been challenged in courts across the country. Other states are already spending tax dollars in order to litigate this to the Supreme Court," the statement reads. "There is no need to waste Utahns' hard earned tax dollars to achieve an outcome that is already happening."