Online vendors are presenting a challenge to states like Massachusetts, which can't collect sales and use taxes on Internet purchases, according to Suffolk University Law School student Jessica Whitman, whose commentary, "The online sales tax problem: protecting local storefronts and state revenue," appears on the Rappaport Briefing blog.

"States are losing hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, and local businesses are suffering from a competitive disadvantage due to the prohibition against requiring out-of-state vendors to collect and remit sales and use tax on purchases by in-state residents," writes Whitman.

She argues that "Congressional action is the appropriate solution for the online sales tax problem."

The Rappaport Briefing offers a collection of student commentaries on issues confronting state and local government in Massachusetts, from utilities regulation to English-language learning.

The briefing blog, created by the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service at Suffolk University Law School, also presents news about Rappaport Center activities.