PublishedNovember 9, 2011

Senate Introduces More Online Sales Tax Legislation

The Computer & Communications Industry Association opposes the Marketplace Fairness Act, the latest bill seeking to impose burdensome state and local tax collecting requirements on online retailers — regardless of physical presence. This bill, introduced today by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Sen. Michael Enzi, R-Wyo., is similar to Sen. Durbin’s previous Main Street Fairness Act in that it would draft online vendors into service as remote sales tax collectors.

The following statement can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“Imposing tax collection burdens on small Internet businesses, which are some of the most promising candidates for future economic growth, would be unjustified, unfair and unwise.

“E-commerce has enabled businesses to broaden the scope of their activities beyond traditional geographic limitations. This bill would unfairly place a compliance burden on online retailers for daring to utilize a new legitimate business model that does not fit well with a sales tax system based on physical location. Businesses should not be penalized for utilizing technology and innovation.

“States’ sovereign rights should not be about targeting e-commerce as a convenient source of revenue and dumping the collection burden on online retailers. What we need are pro-growth policies that foster innovation and progress — rather than protecting existing business models at the expense of consumers and growth.

“We hope that Congress instead takes the approach of last week’s S. Res. 309, sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., which opposes imposing burdensome or unfair tax collecting requirements on small online businesses.”

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