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A Supreme Court Case Could Make Online Shoe Shopping More Expensive

On top of the convenience factor, online shopping has long boasted another advantage for the budget-minded consumer: tax-free purchases.
On Amazon, for instance, a downpour-drenched Prime member in New York City could purchase a pair of full-price Hunter rainboots from a third-party seller for $150 flat; if they walked to a local store, they’d pay $163.31, factoring in both the state and city taxes, the latter of which is triggered by purchases over $110. E-commerce sites aren’t obligated to collect sales taxes in states where they don’t have a physical presence, such as a warehouse or brick-and-mortar shop, so while Amazon pays up for goods it sells from its own inventory in all 45 states that require them, on its third-party marketplace, which accounted for $32 billion in sales last year, merchants often don’t.
This could change, however, as the Supreme Court is set to hear arguments beginning this week on a case brought by South Dakota against online retailers including Wayfair Inc., Overstock.com Inc. and Newegg Inc. (Amazon is not a party to the case, though President Donald Trump has continued his efforts to single out the e-commerce behemoth for its tax payments, among other practices.)
According to the Government Accountability Office, states could have collected

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