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Published April 12, 2012, 11:31 AM

Minnesota businesses step up push for online sales tax

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Representatives of Minnesota businesses large and small are ramping up pressure on state lawmakers to collect sales taxes on purchases made through online-only retailers.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Representatives of Minnesota businesses large and small are ramping up pressure on state lawmakers to collect sales taxes on purchases made through online-only retailers.

The public push included an all-hands-on-deck news conference outside a St. Paul toy store on Thursday. It comes with time winding down on the 2012 session. The plan has bipartisan backing and support from Gov. Mark Dayton's administration but advocates worry it is stalled.

State Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans says the state could expect about $4 million next year and more later if purchases made through Amazon, Overstock.com and others had Minnesota tax applied.

Supporters argue it is about enforcing an existing sales tax and erasing a competitive price advantage now held by online-only retailers. Skeptics see it as a new tax affecting savvy shoppers.

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