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Online Sales Tax Might Change Where Students Buy Textbooks

This summer, Indiana will begin collecting a 7 percent sales tax on products bought from online retailers, a cost that will likely be passed on to consumers.

Indiana is the newest state in the nation to implement an online sales tax that would apply to any product bought from online retailers such as Amazon.com.

That is giving some students pause when deciding where to buy their books.

“It definitely will affect me if I buy from Amazon,”  says IU Junior Alexandria Jones. “I usually buy my textbooks on there because the actual bookstores here are a little bit more expensive. So I might reconsider going to a different type of selling book site.”

And if students stop buying books online, the tax could be a boom for many local retailers who have been competing with online stores for years.

Janis Starcs is the owner of Caveat Emptor Used Books in Bloomington and says the sales tax will put businesses on a level playing field.

“The internet has already affected our business,” he says. “It’s affected how we price our books. We can no longer charge what we feel like.”

The sales tax goes into effect July first of this year. State lawmakers estimate it could bring in anywhere from $35 million to $120 million in additional tax revenue.

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