Report: Ala. sales taxes hurt by online shopping

Authorities say that Internet shopping is hurting revenue collections for state and local governments in Alabama.

The Tuscaloosa News reports ( that the lost revenue comes from Internet shoppers ignoring Alabama's state use tax, the equivalent of a sales tax levied on Alabama residents' out-of-state purchases where the seller does not collect Alabama sales tax.

Curtis Stewart, director of the tax policy and research division of the Alabama Department of Revenue, said estimates like those from a University of Tennessee study indicate that a substantial amount of tax revenue is being lost.

The 2009 study predicted that the growth of Internet shopping will result in at least $11.4 billion in lost sales tax revenue nationwide by next year.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)