To The Editor:

As noted on the Post-Dispatch website (“Report: Missouri loses $468M in online sales tax,” Jan. 2), tax laws have failed to keep up with technological shifts that have changed the way we shop, causing states to lose billions of dollars at the same time that significant cuts are being made to essential state services like education and transportation.

While the U.S. Congress should act to allow states to collect sales taxes they are owed from online retailers, Missouri legislators must also take action by passing a state-level Marketplace Fairness Act. While Sen. Roy Blunt’s federal legislation is critical to fully address this problem, to be effective in Missouri, state lawmakers must also approve companion state legislation that would update and simplify Missouri’s state sales tax laws for compliance. Moreover, in the absence of federal action, the state-level Marketplace Fairness Act would allow Missouri to begin collecting some of the hundreds of millions in sales taxes that it is owed each year, as 24 states already do.

The Missouri Legislature should pass its own Marketplace Fairness Act this year, ensuring that our state can begin collecting taxes already owed, and leveling the playing field for Missouri retailers.