Could collection of sales taxes on online sales in the state be earmarked for transportation needs? That will be a discussion topic in the new session of the General Assembly that opened Wednesday.

There has been a high court ruling allowing states to require out-of-state retailers to collect what could be millions of dollars of new revenue from online sales to Missouri residents. There appears to be a consensus to tax online sales, but no agreement on what the added tax revenue should be used for.

Is there a more compelling need than our transportation infrastructure?

We totally agree that online sales should be taxed. Certainly some of that new revenue should go for transportation infrastructure. The Missourians who voted down an increase in the gasoline tax should support all or at least part of the new revenue for transportation needs.

No clear estimates have been provided as to the amount of revenue the online tax would produce. It could be in the millions of dollars category.

The House and Senate leadership appears to be in agreement that online sales should be taxed, and there is agreement that new revenue is needed for transportation needs.

These two issues will be closely followed in the new session.