CHICAGO Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill into law on Thursday aimed at expanding the collection of sales taxes on items bought over the Internet.
The so-called Mainstreet Fairness Act targets online retailers who contract with affiliate businesses in Illinois, requiring them to collect the sales tax on purchases like other retailers in the state.
"This law will put Illinois-based businesses on a level playing field, protect and create jobs and help us continue to grow in the global marketplace," the Democratic governor said in a statement.
Illinois estimates that it loses between $153 million and $170 million in sales tax revenue annually due to retailers not collecting the tax.
Expectations that Quinn planned to sign the bill led Wal-Mart Stores Inc earlier this week to issue a public invitation to Illinois online businesses to join its affiliate network as Amazon.com Inc and Overstock.com Inc threatened to terminate their relationships with the businesses due to the impending law.
On Thursday, Sears Holdings Corp praised the new law and said it also welcomes dropped affiliates to join its team.
(Reporting by Karen Pierog; Editing by Dan Grebler)