Online shopping increases won’t help Wisconsin budget shortfalls

Although internet shopping has grown amid COVID-19 shutdowns, tax collections from online sales will not offset losses from declining businesses including restaurants, bars, and hotels, according to a report from Wisconsin Policy Forum.

Wisconsin state law requires the additional revenue reported by certain online and out-of-state businesses to be used to cut income tax rates. The state’s main tax collection categories have declined compared to 2019 figures, including those of motor vehicles, clothing, restaurants, and lodging. Categories increasing activity through the pandemic include e-commerce, building and garden, and grocery.