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State to try again for Internet sales tax

The state Revenue Department will try for a fourth time to make out-of-state Internet stores collect sales taxes from their Wisconsin buyers.

The agency's budget request for the next two years would raise an extra $46.5 million.

Wisconsin would join 22 other states in adopting uniform sales tax rules that make it easier for companies to collect taxes in numerous states.

Revenue administrator Diane Hardt says it's only fair.

She says online buyers escape the sales taxes shoppers pay in brick and mortar stores.

Among other things, the so-called I-Pod tax is back. It would charge a sales tax every time you download a book or a music album on your computer.

Republicans have stopped those kinds of taxes in the past. They may not be able to stop them next year if Democrats win control of the Assembly and keep their majority in the Senate.

The proposed revenue department budget would also reverse the impact of a Supreme Court ruling from this year in which the state was told to refund or not charge $300 million in sales tax for custom business computer software.

Gov. Jim Doyle will now decide whether to propose the requests in the next state budget he'll give to the Legislature in 2009.