South Dakota sales tax case may be heard by U.S. Supreme Court

Judge gavel, scales of justice and law books in court

The fate of an important court decision involving the state and U.S. Supreme Court is likely to be known by next week. The case, South Dakota v. Wayfair, was “relisted” on the high court’s calendar on Monday and will go to conference on Jan. 12.  An announcement on if the court will hear the case is expected by Jan. 16.

A relist to the calendar could mean that one or more justices requested to examine the case further, the justices are trying to get the four votes needed for a review or that one or more justices are writing a dissent from the majority’s decision not to review the case.

The state is hopeful the case will be heard and eventually overturn the 25-year-old ruling in Quill Corporation v. North Dakota that restricted states from collecting sales taxes from mail-order sellers if those sellers do not have a physical presence in the state.

South Dakota currently derives more than 60 percent of state budget revenues from sales tax. Gov. Daugaard has estimated that the state loses $50 million of state and municipal sales tax due to e-commerce sales.