A second effort to collect state sales taxes on remote sales runs into familiar opposition.

Buy a coat from a store in Missouri and you pay sales tax. Buy the same coat from the company’s internet site, and you probably won’t. The Senate is considering a bill putting Missouri into a compact with more than 20 other states working with more than 1200 retailers to collect state and local sales taxes on those remote sales.

But for Senator Eric Schmitt of Glendale, collecting a tax that a taxpayer should be paying, but isn’t, is a tax increase. “There’s no way around the fact that we are raising taxes for consumers who make purchases,” he says.

The bill’s sponsor, Joan Bray of St. Louis,. says it’s a fairness matter. “If a business has…actual physical presence in the state, when you go on line they are supposed to be charging you sales tax,” she says. But Schmitt’s opposition has meant that Bray has failed for a second time to get her bill to a vote.

listen to debate 39:23 mp3