NSBA Statement on Supreme Court’s Decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., et al.

June 21, 2018

NSBA Statement on Supreme Court’s Decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., et al.

Alexandria, Va., (June 21, 2018) – NSBA Executive Director & CEO Thomas J. Gentzel today released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s Decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., et al.:

Today, the Supreme Court issued a historic decision that restores a crucial revenue stream to state and local governments, including public schools. In South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., et al., the Court overruled its 1967 and 1992 decisions, Bellas Hess and Quill, requiring an out-of-state seller to have a physical presence in the state for it to be required to collect sales tax on transactions within the state. The Court recognized that “modern e-commerce does not align analytically with a test that relies on the sort of physical presence defined in Quill.” The ruling is consistent with the arguments raised in the amicus brief joined by the National School Boards Association and other national organizations representing the concerns of state and local governments.

“NSBA is pleased that the Court has heeded the concerns of state and local governments and provided a fix for an unfair tax system in which out-of-state retailers did not collect owed sales tax. Now states like South Dakota, which doesn’t have a personal income tax, have a much-needed resource to fund critical programs, including public schools.

“The Court’s decision today echoes the concerns NSBA raised in the amicus brief that state and local governments were being deprived of up to billions of dollars in sales tax revenue because the “physical presence” requirement simply did not translate well to today’s digital economy. The decision could provide public schools with much needed funding after years of cuts. In today’s competitive global economy, students deserve to benefit from additional funds from internet sales taxes. This funding stream allows school boards to invest in students to better prepare them for career, college and life.

“NSBA commends the Court for issuing a decision that recognizes the dependence of our economy on digital commerce, and requires online retailers to participate and profit on fair terms. The decision restores a vital revenue source to public schools.”


The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is the leading advocate for public education and supports equity and excellence in public education through school board leadership. NSBA believes education is a civil right necessary to the dignity and freedom of the American people, and all children should have equal access to an education that maximizes his or her individual potential. The association represents state school boards associations and their more than 90,000 local school board members throughout the U.S.

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