Online sales tax begins in North Carolina

    As of Nov. 1, North Carolinians who shop online will have to pay sales tax on purchases. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

    As of Nov. 1, you have to pay North Carolina sales tax on all of your internet purchases because of a law change by the U.S. Supreme Court. That adds about $7 to every $100 spent online.

    Some shoppers in Sylva said they'll miss the online savings. Others think the law change by the court is fair.

    Tammy Fuller runs Sassafras Designs on Sylva’s Main Street. Her customers are accustomed to paying sales tax on what they buy at the brick and mortar store. Now, the U.S. Supreme Court said sales tax has to be paid on internet purchases, too, as North Carolina joins the growing list of states collecting the tax money.

    Fuller said her customers enjoy the experience of her store.

    “I believe people enjoy themselves here,” she said.

    Fuller sees the high court's rationale in applying sales tax to internet purchases.

    “I do believe that it levels the field,” she said.

    The high court’s decision negates previous rulings exempting businesses from applying sales tax if the business shipped to a state where that business didn't have a physical presence.

    Some Main Street shoppers said they'll miss the online savings. But others feel differently.

    “I would still say it's for the better. I'd be willing to pay the extra,” Elaine Stultz said. “I think it's fair. It would help the small businesses to maintain sales. I think it's a good idea."

    Fuller expects good business regardless.

    “Just being able to shop in a local, locally-owned shop is the reason why,” she said. “We just love on our customers. We enjoy what we do.”

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