Simon Property Group, the largest owner of shopping malls in the U.S., has filed suit against the state of Indiana in an effort to force the state to collect sales taxes from the online commerce giant Amazon.com.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Marion County Circuit Court, was characterized as an effort to level the playing field for brick-and-mortar retailers, which have been losing business to online shopping sites like Amazon for over a decade.
SPG said it is is not seeking monetary damages and is instead filing the lawsuit on behalf of Indiana's taxpayers and the state's bricks-and-mortar retailers, many of which are tenants at the company’s 27 shopping centers in Indiana.
The lawsuit is being filed after SPG requested the state of Indiana begin collecting sales taxes on sales made by Amazon.com within the state of Indiana as required by existing Indiana law. Amazon.com is required by Indiana law to collect and remit sales and use taxes to the state, for sales made over the Internet, but has consistently refused to do so even though it is required by current Indiana laws.
“As a proud Indiana company which employs thousands of Hoosiers, Simon Property Group believes we have a responsibility to ensure the laws are equally applied to everyone,” said the company. “Main Street retailers are being harmed by this unequal playing field in Indiana and their existence is being jeopardized and threatens the employment of hundreds of thousands of retail employees in our state.”
Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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