- ‘Welcome to the edge of freedom’: Biden’s boots touch down in DMZ
- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
Opponents slam Internet sales tax bill
Opponents of an Internet sales tax bill on Tuesday called it a “21st century version of taxation without representation,” warning it raises the prospect of taxing online retailers in jurisdictions where the owners of those businesses cannot vote.
Strongly supported by state governments, the “Marketplace Fairness Act” sailed through the Senate last month on bipartisan support, and already has dozens of co-sponsors in the House. Backers say it will level the playing field for traditional retailers by forcing Internet rivals to also collect state sales taxes.
But bill opponents, which include a number of the largest Web-based retailers, believe they have a better chance of blocking it in the Republican-controlled House, which is usually opposed to tax hikes.
On Tuesday, a handful of congressmen and lobbyists held a press conference in the Capitol to attack the idea of taxing Internet sales.
“This bill is a 21st century version of taxation without representation,” said Rep. Ron DeSantis, Florida Republican.
The bill would require Internet retailers to collect sales tax from out-of-state customers. Technically, it’s not a tax on the stores, because it comes out of their customers’ pockets. It’s also not a new tax, because online shoppers are supposed to pay sales tax directly to the government, though few do in practice.
Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, strongly challenged the notion that the bill does not represent a tax increase.
“If you change the law and the government raises more money, it’s a tax increase,” Mr. Norquist said in an interview before the press conference. “It seems to me that it would be hard for a congressman to look you in the eye and say it’s not a tax increase.”
Mr. Norquist said the bill’s worst injustice is that it would allow state governments to tax people outside of their borders who cannot vote against them.
“They just want other people’s money,” he argued.
Internet retailers have also challenged the argument that the bill would level the playing field with traditional retailers. While brick-and-mortar stores only have to collect the local tax rates where they are located, they note, online stores would have to deal with nearly 10,000 different taxing jurisdictions, which each have different tax rates.
The compliance cost would be “next to impossible” to keep up with, said Montana freshman Rep. Steve Daines, one of the House’s leading GOP voices against the bill.
“There’s nothing fair about the so-called Marketplace Fairness Act,” he said.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Tim Devaney is a national reporter who covers business and international trade for The Washington Times. Previously, he worked for the Detroit News, Grand Rapids Press, Portland Press Herald and Bangor Daily News. Tim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- General Motors ending Chevrolet sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall
- 'Momentous day' for in-debt Detroit
- Cyber Monday, Gray Thursday reflect sales shift
- Bye, bye American pie? China wants in on the U.S. apple market.
- Deal with Iran can mean lower prices at gas pump
Latest Blog Entries
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Obama tries to calm Israeli fears over Iranian nuke deal 'not based on trust'
- 'Dude, I'm dreading that I will have to go': Czech prime minister on Mandela funeral
- A Mandela remembrance
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- Behind Andy Reid, Chiefs enjoying a resurgence
- Study suggests link between gun ownership, racism
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
White House pets gone wild!