May 7, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Senate gave strong bipartisan approval to landmark legislation that could largely lead to the end of the nation's decades-long Internet sales tax holiday. Now the issue shifts to the more skeptical, Republican-controlled House, where the debate will revolve around one fundamental question: Does helping governments collect an existing and owed tax constitute a tax increase? The Marketplace Fairness Act, approved 69-27 Monday by the Senate, gives states the authority to require larger online retailers with no physical presence in those states to collect sales taxes that residents already are obligated to pay. Many states, including California, are expected to jump at the chance to start collecting an estimated $23 billion in total sales tax revenue that is lost to online, catalog and other so-called remote sales each year.
August 1, 2012 |
The latest argument from those who oppose sales taxes on Internet purchases is that it's "taxation without representation. " Where did this counterfactual meme come from, and how do we kill it? A typical example is an op-ed in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), whose anti-tax fervor seems to have clouded his ability to reason. He argues that requiring online merchants to collect and remit sales taxes just like their brick-and-mortar brethren would violate the "bedrock principle" that "citizens should not be taxed by governments in which they have no political voice.
May 6, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- The Senate voted 69-27 Monday to approve legislation that would allow states to force larger online retailers to collect sales taxes. But the bill faces an uncertain future in the House as lawmakers, particularly Republicans, wrestle with whether the Marketplace Fairness Act amounts to a tax increase. The Market Place Fairness Act would give states the authority to force larger retailers to collect sales taxes that residents already are obligated to pay. But with most consumers dodging those taxes for years, the result will be that people will pay more in taxes.
April 20, 2013 |
When he was a senator representing South Carolina, Jim DeMint argued that collecting sales taxes on Internet purchases was an impermissible form of taxation without representation . He's continuing this meme in his new role as head of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington. And he's still wrong. DeMint's ire was focused on a bill, S 743, by Republican Sen. Michael B. Enzi of Wyoming that would require online retailers to collect sales taxes from customers based on the buyer's local tax rate.
June 30, 2009 |
As revenue-hungry states eye Internet retailers as possible sources of new taxes, Amazon.com Inc. is firing back. Already, the nation's largest Internet retailer has cut ties with its affiliate websites in two states to avoid legislation that would require the company to collect sales taxes from its customers there. And it is fighting similar tax proposals in several other states, including California.
April 25, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Senate on Thursday failed to pass bipartisan legislation that would allow states to collect sales taxes from larger Internet retailers, but the bill cleared a key procedural hurdle and is on track for approval after lawmakers return from a recess. Momentum has been building for the Marketplace Fairness Act, which is strongly supported by most state and local governments and traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. But opposition from some online retailers, led by EBay Inc., and a small group of senators largely from states that do not have sales taxes derailed the legislation temporarily.