Stillwater News Press

August 17, 2013

Stillwater City Council to look at closing online loophole

By Nick Woodruff
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — The Stillwater City Council is expected to consider closing a loophole for the online market at its 5:30 p.m. Monday meeting at the Municipal Building, 723 S. Lewis.

In 1992, in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, the Supreme Court ruled if a business sells its products on the Internet, it only would it be required to collect sales taxes on state resident purchases from a business with a physical location.

In the state of Oklahoma, cities and towns are dependent on sales tax to fund core services, according to the city council’s agenda.

H.R. Bill 684, written by Steve Womack, R-Ark., will look to close the loophole for out-of-state companies which sell online. The bill will end the tax deal online-only retailers get, according to the agenda.

“The changing environment of online shopping has created a major and unfair disadvantage to our local brick and mortar businesses that are the backbone of our local economy and supports our cities and towns and community efforts,” according to the agenda.

As for Oklahoma businesses, they are required to collect a sales tax on purchases and remit to the state which distributes it to local governments.

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The Stillwater Utility Authority will consider agreements to hire an engineer to build an electrical power generation plant to replace the aging facility at Boomer Lake.

The authority board will look to an agreement with Burns and McDonnell for the engineering of the station. The city will allow expenditures of approximately $4.5 million for the services.

The board  will examine a land swap for 25 acres of land at the northwest corner of Jardot Road and Airport Road. The city will exchange 12.25 acres on North Perkins Road to attain this land.

The authority also will consider a bond issue for the project.

The board will consider JP Morgan for the bond issue. Once the bond is put together, it will have to be passed on a later date.