Gov. Ron DeSantis quietly signs online sales tax bill into law

New law will require out-of-state retailers to collect, remit sales taxes
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Posted at 10:59 PM, Apr 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-20 22:59:06-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis very quietly and without much fanfare signed a new online sales tax bill into law Monday, requiring out-of-state retailers to collect and remit sales taxes.

The governor had until midnight to sign the bill, veto it or let the bill become law without his signature. A news release from the governor's office announced the move with less than an hour remaining.

It was one of five bills DeSantis signed into law Monday.

Earlier in the day, DeSantis held a news conference in Polk County for a ceremonial signing of the so-called "anti-riot" bill. The controversial new law overshadowed the other four bills DeSantis signed off on Monday.

Under the law, "marketplace providers" that aren't located in Florida will be required to remit sales taxes "when delivering tangible personal property" to consumers.

Florida business groups have lobbied for years to require out-of-state retailers to collect and remit sales taxes.

Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation, said in a statement that the law creates a "level playing field" for all businesses. The sales-tax revenue will be used to replenish a depleted unemployment trust fund and then will go toward reducing a commercial rent tax.

Retailers that have a physical presence in Florida are already subject to taxes, but out-of-state retailers have been able to skirt the requirement.

Essentially, the new law ensures that platforms facilitating third-party sales, like eBay and Etsy, are responsible for sending sales-tax revenues to the state.

The law will take effect July 1. Forty-three other states already have similar laws in place.

An exemption applies to any business that sells less than $100,000 per year in Florida.