ST. CLOUD -- Online shoppers may have to pay more for their purchases after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling saying that states can force online consumers to pay sales tax. However, that is only if the state they live in passes a law requiring the tax to be collected.

Jim Knoblach of St. Cloud is the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. He says he expects the state legislature to look at it during the next session, and it could help to level the playing field for some small businesses in the state.

And for a city like St. Cloud that really is a retail center, helping to level the playing field I think probably would be a good thing.

But, Knoblach says Minnesota already has a lot of tax revenue...

So for something like this, if we're going to get this additional tax revenue from such sales taxes, I would think that some other tax cuts to offset it somewhere else would also be something to be looked at.

The 5-4 ruling Thursday overturns previous decisions that 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, it 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.

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