Shopping Mall Operator Simon in Court over Internet Sales Tax
Leonard, Kim, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
The company that owns Ross Park Mall, South Hills Village and the Grove City Premium Outlets is joining the fight to push Internet retailers to collect sales tax.
Simon Property Group Inc. sued Indiana's Department of Revenue this week to force it to collect taxes from Amazon.com Inc. for sales made to residents in that state, where Simon is based.
The nation's biggest shopping mall operator said it is not seeking monetary damages. The lawsuit aims to benefit Indiana taxpayers, Simon said, plus bricks-and-mortar stores that collect sales tax from customers while Amazon.com and other online and catalog retailers that have no physical presence in the state don't have to add on the tax.
Simon owns and runs 27 retail centers in Indiana. In Pennsylvania, the company has 20 centers and in Ohio, 12, including Southern Park Mall in Youngstown.
The company claims Indiana officials have ignored its requests that the state collect the taxes, as required under state law.
"Amazon sells hundreds of millions of dollars of taxable goods to Indiana residents, with many of those sales taking place wholly within Indiana, every year," the Simon lawsuit stated.
That volume of business gives Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, sufficient contact with the state to become liable for collecting tax on sales there, according to the lawsuit filed in Indiana's Marion County Superior Court.
As in Pennsylvania, Indiana residents who buy items in other states and bring them home are required to pay a use tax, similar to a sales tax. …