Black Friday…Small Business Saturday…Now it’s Cyber Monday. It might be good news for consumers. But Missouri’s business community has a different view.
Catch phrases such as these are marketing terms that describe–and promote—certain buying behaviors. The term “Cyber Monday” was created by an organization promoting online and multichannel retailing. Shop.org first used it in 2005 because a study showed more than three-fourths of online retailers saw big jumps in sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving. Another study showed sales topped one-billion dollars on Cyber Monday 2010.
One part of Cyber Monday irritates a spokesman for Missouri’s brick and mortar stores, David Overfelt of the Missouri Retailers Association. Sales taxes. Most cyber merchants don’t collect them. “There are a number of companies that take advantage of not having to collect the sales tax…and it does impact the sales tax revenues that voters have approved throughout the state,” he says. Overfelt says sales taxes “affect everything we do in our local areas,” a reason his association encourages local shopping.
Some states have formed a consortium that has negotiated agreements with several internet sales companies to collect a sales tax. But Missouri is not part of that consortium and some tax experts think only Congress can deal with a national solution.
The legislature and Congress have refused to do anything about the situation. Overfelt hopes for better luck next year.