Boise Towne Square mall supports online sales tax legislation

Boise Towne Square mall is taking a position on a controversial issue — whether online retailers should be required to collect sales tax.

Idaho requires residents to pay taxes on any online purchases, such as through, that weren’t collected by the retailer. But the taxes often aren’t automatically calculated and collected by the Internet retailer, so shoppers are required to pay them when they file their tax returns.

The mall posted on its Facebook page a message urging Treasure Valley residents to support legislation that would require online retailers to collect taxes. Congress has considered, but not passed, such bills in recent years.

“While we typically don’t participate in political movements, this one pertains directly to brick-and-mortar stores,” mall spokeswoman Tina Kierce wrote in an email Thursday. “If legislation is passed, then Internet stores will be required to collect sales tax just like brick and mortar. It levels the playing field, providing local business the best opportunity to compete. By requiring state tax collection via Internet sales, imagine the funding to our schools and state as a result.”