Senators To Propose Online Sales Tax
A bill expected to be introduced in Congress later this week will allow states to collect sales tax from online shops, which have traditionally been exempt from state-level fees, CNET.com reported today.
Senators Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Lamar Alexandar (R-Tenn.) are finalizing their pending proposal. Democrats suggested a similar measure this summer, which has not yet reached Congressional debate.
The bill's authors say it will create competition among online and physical "brick-and-mortar" sellers - but its opponents say the tax is egregious and unnecessary. Some senators already plan to fight this proposition.
Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) are planning to introduce a resolution today saying that no laws should be enacted that would let states impose "burdensome or unfair" taxes on Internet retailers.
The forthcoming bipartisan resolution, which is non-binding, is an attempt by Wyden and Ayotte to put their colleagues on record as opposing taxes that would have a harmful economic effect. A draft obtained by CNET says the type of taxes envisioned by big box retailers "would adversely impact hundreds of thousands of jobs, reduce consumer choice, and impede the growth and development of interstate commerce.
Currently, most online retailers charge their customers sales tax according to the state to which products are shipped. Additionally, many sites have participating "merchants," who use Internet shops to market their own products. For example, Penguin Publishing Group charges sales tax on all the products it sells through Amazon.com.
Senators are expected to propose the bill within a week.
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