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Plan Calls For Online Purchases Sales Tax To Fund NYC Subway Repairs

February 28, 2019 - 10:50 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Amazon may have bid farewell to New York City, but in a way, items sold on the site could help pay for the new proposed congestion pricing plan.

A recent Supreme Court case gave states the power to now tax all online purchases. For years, some online retailers found a loophole, granting them the ability to not charge their customers state sales tax. This technicality meant that tax dollars went undeclared. 

Part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's congestion pricing plan calls for the creation of an online purchases sales tax, which looks to take advantage of that new revenue stream.

Brooklyn Assemblyman Robert Carroll has been pushing for this exact tax.

"The big thing is with congestion pricing that folks forget is, congestion pricing will raise about a billion dollars if we don't hack it to death. But the MTA needs $1.6 billion annually," Carroll said. "So this would go a long way."

The online sales tax would ensure that all purchases, whether made in a physical store or online, are subject to the same state sales tax. The money made from the sales tax would then be directed towards subway repairs.

"Making sure that folks aren't skirting our sales tax laws when we could clearly use that money for the MTA." says Carroll.

He estimates that the sales tax would bring in approximately $136 million a year, but the governor's office estimates a much higher figure, of $360 million annually.