Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., stopped for a visit to Weisser Distributing in Tea on Jan. 17.
Weisser Distributing’s director of operations Jason Reisdorfer gave Noem a rundown of the business’s history from owner Bob Weisser’s one-man show in 1978 to a large warehouse with 100 employees at the end of 2017. He also noted that they have grown the business substantially since 1978.
“We’ve grown our sales from $1 million when Bob was by himself. As of December 2017, our number was $50,200,000,” Reisdorfer said.
The company started doing business online in 2011 when Weisser’s son, Eric, returned home to take over the business. At that time, they started selling on eBay. Today they sell on ten online sites.
“Our online thing is the real deal. We’re a top 50 seller on Amazon. We’re still on eBay. We’re on ten online marketplaces. We try to be the lowest price out there,” Reisdorfer said.
From the beginning, Weisser Distributing has collected sales tax. They have contracted with an outside company to handle the sales tax collection. The company has received numerous complaints from customers about the collection and has hired another customer service rep to handle those complaints.
Noem referenced the current U.S. Supreme Court case of South Dakota vs. Wayfair on sales tax collection. The case is being reviewed by the court and a ruling is expected by the end of June.
She also talked about a bill she has introduced to take the burden of collecting sales tax off businesses and create a clearinghouse.
“My bill would take all of that off your plate. It creates a federal clearinghouse and the state that you live in would give you, and pay for, the software that you would use and all the auditing burden you automatically give to that software company — they have to deal with it,” Noem said. “The Supreme Court case is important, but we have to pass the bill to protect businesses so that they’re not all of a sudden getting audited.”
Noem hoped to attach her bill to the Senate’s spending bill last week before negotiations failed and the government shut down.
She noted that consumers don’t realize they are still liable to pay use tax to their state on items they buy online. Her bill would protect consumers from audits they may undergo.
“The consumer is still liable for all that tax, they just don’t recognize that since they shop online so much. My goal is that you are protected,” Noem said.