Business

Indiana’s battle to collect online sales tax from businesses that don’t have a physical presence in the state will more likely play out in Congress than in the courts, says one economist.

Indiana does collect sales tax from companies such as Amazon, which has seven distribution centers across five counties.

But the state also wants to tax online retailers including Wayfair and Overstock, which don’t – but still earn more than $100,000 a year from Hoosiers.

The state of Indiana filed a lawsuit Monday to allow it to collect sales tax from online sellers who don’t have a presence in Indiana.

New state legislation that prompted the lawsuit means the state could collect those taxes if the courts rule in its favor.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that online retailers don’t have to collect and remit sales tax if they have no physical connection to the state.

Indianapolis-based shopping mall developer Simon Property Group is suing Starbucks over the coffee chain’s plans to close Teavana stores in malls nationwide.

The lawsuit argues Starbucks doesn’t have grounds to break its leases on 78 Teavana stores at Simon-owned malls, including five stores in Indiana.

Four years after buying the mostly mall-based tea brand, Starbucks said in July it would close down its 379 Teavana stores.

Most of the stores in Simon malls have years left on their leases, according to the lawsuit filed Aug. 21 in Marion County Superior Court.

A trucking company moving from Illinois to Indiana is the latest of dozens of companies that have made that switch in recent years.

It’s a boon to struggling northwest Indiana economies that Indiana officials say is thanks to their state’s business-friendly tax and regulatory structure.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation says at least 55 companies have moved some or all of their business from Illinois to Indiana in the past two years. They say that will create more than 5,500 jobs and $610 million in investment.

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly pushed back Wednesday against criticism that his family’s company outsourced jobs to Mexico.

At a campaign event Donnelly held with Rexnord and Carrier union workers on outsourcing, Donnelly says his involvement in his brother’s company ended more than 20 years ago.

And he says when it comes to his 2018 re-election campaign, voters should look at what he’s done in Washington D.C.

“Look, I’ve voted against every single bad trade deal that ever came along. I’ve been fighting this battle for years and years and years,” Donnelly says.

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