After soaring 18.9% in the first half of 2021 over the comparable period in 2020, unit sales of print books retreated in the first half of 2022, dropping 6.6% from 2021 levels. According to NPD BookScan, total first-half print sales were 362.6 million, down from 386.6 million a year ago. All the major categories except adult fiction had declines, with the largest drop coming in the industry’s biggest category, adult nonfiction, where print sales fell 10.3%. Sales at the midpoint of 2022 were still about 15% above the first six months of 2019, the last prepandemic year, which many in the industry are using as a benchmark, in light of the unexpectedly strong subsequent two years of the pandemic. The 6.6% decline is also an improvement over the first quarter, which saw an 8.9% drop in sales compared to last year’s first quarter.
The 5-4 ruling Thursday is a win for states, who said they were losing out on billions of dollars annually under two decades-old Supreme Court decisions that impacted online sales tax collection.
The high court ruled Thursday to overturn those decisions. They had resulted in some companies not collecting sales tax on every online purchase. The cases the court overturned said that if a business was shipping a product to a state where it didn’t have a physical presence such as a warehouse or office, the business didn’t have to collect the state’s sales tax. Customers were generally supposed to pay the tax to the state themselves if they don’t get charged it, but the vast majority didn’t.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that the previous decisions were flawed.
“Each year the physical presence rule becomes further removed from economic reality and results in significant revenue losses to the States. These critiques underscore that the physical presence rule, both as first formulated and as applied today, is an incorrect interpretation of the Commerce Clause,” he wrote.
In addition to being a win for states, the ruling is also a win for large retailers, who argued the physical presence rule was unfair. Retailers including Apple, Macy’s, Target and Walmart, which have brick-and-mortar stores nationwide, generally collect sales tax from their customers who buy online. That’s because they typically have a physical store in whatever state the purchase is being shipped to. Amazon.com, with its network of warehouses, also collects sales tax in every state that charges it, though third party sellers who use the site to sell goods don’t have to.
more at source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-supreme-court-sales-tax-20180621-story.html