Sales tax takes new direction

It may end up being a better way to capture tax revenue from online sales, but in the short term there may be some pain for local businesses.

On Tuesday there will be a new system in place for Washington state businesses that ship or deliver goods to customers in other parts in the state. Sales tax will be determined by where the customer receives the product.

Currently the tax is based on where the product is shipped.

This can mean a savings for some consumers: If a Bellingham resident buys a TV in Bellevue (which has a 9 percent sales tax) and has it shipped to Bellingham (which has an 8.4 percent sales tax), he or she will pay a little less in taxes on Tuesday.

However, keeping track of all the tax rates in the state will be a challenge for the 40,000 Washington businesses that sell products and ship them to other parts of the state.

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