Sen. Ted Cruz released a video Friday in which he takes a hard-line stance against a proposal that would allow states to collect sales taxes on purchases from out-of-state online retailers that some are hoping will pass in the current lame-duck session of Congress.
“If the Internet sales tax becomes law, small online retailers would have to comply with over 9,600 tax jurisdictions across the country. Big box stores don’t have to do that, and it’s just not fair,” said Mr. Cruz, Texas Republican.
Proponents of the legislation known as the Marketplace Fairness Act, which has already passed out of the Senate on a bipartisan basis, argue that it would put small, brick-and-mortar retailers that already have to collect the taxes on a more level playing field with competitors online.
Mr. Cruz, a potential contender for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, said that “corporate lobbyists who want internet taxes to crush their competition see a chance to make it law in the lame duck session of Congress.”
Indeed, there has been a renewed push from groups like the National Retail Federation and others, who wrote a letter this week urging House Speaker John A. Boehner to move on the issue.
“The Speaker has made clear in the past he has significant concerns about the bill, and it won’t move forward this year. The Judiciary Committee continues to examine the measure and the broader issue. In the meantime, the House and Senate should work together to extend the moratorium on internet taxation without further delay,” said Kevin Smith, Mr. Boehner’s spokesman.
Still, Mr. Cruz said 10 senators who voted for the measure last year have been defeated or are retiring, which means this could be their “last, best chance” to pass it.
“We must say no,” he said. “No net tax. Not now. Not ever.”