Connecticut Can Tax Scholastic Book Club Sales

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to take up the case is a $3.2 million victory for the state and its coffers.


Scholastic Book Clubs, the company that for decades has sold books to school children in classrooms across Connecticut, must pay the state $3.2 million in uncollected sales taxes on those sales.

That’s the upshot of the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal this week to hear an appeal challenging a state court ruling that the book sales are taxable and that Scholastic Book Clubs owes sales taxes dating back to 2005.

The state had argued in the case that, although it is based in Missouri, Scholastic Book Clubs is liable for in-state taxes because it uses Connecticut teachers as its local sales representatives. There are some 14,000 school teachers in Connecticut who sell books through Scholastic, the state argued.

Being exempt from sales taxes, the state had maintained, was also unfair to Connecticut retailers.

“This decision levels the playing field for Connecticut-based retailers who rightly collect and remit the sales tax,” said Kevin Sullivan, the commissioner of the Department of Revenue Services.

The case has broader implications for the state’s efforts to tax online sales and other goods ordered from companies based out of state, according to a Hartford Courant columnist.

ASmith October 14, 2012 at 03:18 PM
dumb dumb dumb...these money grubbing folks dont realize that its the moms and pops who pull the pennies outta their cookie jars to buy books for their youngins to read. this here program makes lill ones get excited bout readin now they gonna make those books cost more which means mom and pop cant afford em or will buy less of em which means less kids will be a readin which means we is jes dumbin down our youngins for $$$ in the state coffers that they is jes gonna waste anyway. gosh this countrys leaders have their heads in the commode. goin after kiddie book sales and not wall street crooks.
Robin Keohane October 14, 2012 at 06:58 PM
How crazy is this folks, are we not promoting reading in the classroom!! What gets me is we hit the elementary level where parents are struggling family, work or school themselves, they have not reached their highest income potential I call it the salad days! How about taxing private Colleges they are getting $30,000 or more per student without rooming ! Yet we collect no property taxes or business taxes off all there side venues! Some colleges have their own electric turbines and telecommunication switches and charge the students accordingly! I am not for taxing the State schools which are already subsidized by our taxes! I am all for education but let's be fair!! Leave the children buying Clifford the Big Red Dog alone!!
Sarah Kaufman October 16, 2012 at 02:17 PM
This article is grossly innacurate. The taxability of the books being sold by Scholastic was never in question. They have always been subject to the sales tax. If the same books were bought at a local retailer, sales tax would be charged on them. The decision requires Scholastic (through the teachers) to COLLECT the tax. At least this article links readers to an excellent piece by the Courant's Dan Haar, which accutately explains the decision.


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