U.S. Supreme Court ruling requiring online sales tax collection is a big victory for fairness between online and brick-and-mortar stores.

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The U.S. Supreme Court struck a blow for fairness in pushing the nation’s tax system into the 21st century with its ruling Thursday that online retailers must collect sales tax in all the states that require it.

As the justices note in their South Dakota v. Wayfair decision, this move toward marketplace fairness between brick-and-mortar and online stores should have been accomplished through congressional action. But Washington, and nearly every other state, will benefit financially either way.

In 2017, the Washington Legislature approved a partial expansion to online tax collection, which requires businesses with annual sales in the state above $10,000 a year to collect taxes from customers directly or inform customers they are liable for the tax and report sales to the state for collection.

The new law is expected to add as much as $758 million to state collections in the 2019-2021 budget cycle, according to a state fiscal analysis. The Supreme Court ruling is expected to improve compliance and expand the impact to more businesses.

The Washington Department of Revenue is analyzing the Supreme Court decision and could not say late last week how much more it could add to sales-tax revenue. But one thing is known: Washington residents who avoided paying sales tax by shopping online will no longer be allowed to skip out on sales tax and avoid supporting their own state services.

Expanding Washington’s sales tax collection to all online retailers will likely require legislative action in 2019, according to state Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee.

Although some online retailers like Seattle’s own Amazon voluntarily collect sales taxes in every state that has a sales tax, many others like eBay do not.

This modernization of the nation’s tax system is a win for brick-and-mortar stores. For decades, local retailers have had to compete with companies that can effectively sell the same goods for less, because they don’t collect state and local sales tax.

Online retail businesses have had an unfair advantage since a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Quill Corporation v. North Dakota, which barred states from requiring businesses to collect sales taxes unless they have a substantial connection, such as a warehouse, in the state.

The Quill ruling especially hurt states like Washington, where sales tax provides 52 percent of the state’s general fund revenue. In Thursday’s ruling, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote the Quill decision had distorted the nation’s economy and caused states to lose as much as $33 billion a year.

The retail world has changed substantially since 1992, when mail-order sales made up $180 million of total retail sales, Kennedy noted. Last year, e-commerce retail sales were estimated at $453.5 billion.

In a dissent, Chief Justice John Roberts notes that small retailers, such as crafters who sell handmade goods online, will find the new tax rules a burden. Then state legislatures and Congress must make sure those tiny shops have a clear path toward obeying the law, paying their taxes and supporting government services from which everyone benefits.

The details are important, but this is a great victory for marketplace fairness in Washington and around the nation.

“It’s a real vindication and a validation for those of us who have said from the beginning that equity between online and brick-and-mortar is important,” said state Sen. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, who celebrated the Supreme Court ruling after pushing for marketplace fairness on the state and national level for many years.

And now Washington will have more money to help improve public schools, fix its mental-health system, repair roads and bridges, and put cash away for the next economic downturn.