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In a 1992 case, Quill v. North Dakota, that dealt with a catalog mail-order company, the Supreme Court held that vendors cannot be required to collect sales taxes in states where they have no physical presence.  The Court explained that to require these companies to comply with various state and local sales tax rules and regulations would create a burden on interstate commerce, and since then the ruling has been applied to all remote vendors.  Although the Court did recognize that Congress has the authority to enact legislation that would require all retailers to collect state and local sales taxes, Congress has refused to extend sales tax collection to online retailers.  Should Congress enact uniform sales tax rules and definitions that would require online and catalog retailers to collect sales taxes?  Can existing state efforts to coordinate and minimize the burdens of sales tax laws (known as the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement project) effectively eliminate the Court’s concerns and persuade Congress to act?  Our speakers address these and other issues.


  • Mr. Bruce Johnson, Utah State Tax Commission
  • Mr. Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform
  • Moderator: Prof. Kristin Hickman, University of Minnesota Law School