Corker Sees Years Passing Before Congress Act on Online Sales Tax

CARTHAGE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker says it may be three or four years before Congress passes regulations on tax collections by online retailers like Amazon.com.
Corker told reporters after a speech to the Smith County Chamber of Commerce in Carthage on Tuesday that he considers it “unfair” for consumers to try out items at local stores only to later purchase them tax free on the Internet.
Gov. Bill Haslam has said he wants to take a lead creating national guidelines on Internet sales taxes, but Corker said he had not yet spoken with his fellow Republican about those aims.
Corker said that the two were scheduled to dine together later Tuesday and would likely discuss it then.
Amazon is building three distribution centers in the state.
UPDATE: Andy Sher has more. An excerpt:
Corker said he can’t say if he will support legislation sponsored by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., that would let states compel Internet retailers to collect sales taxes when they do not have a physical presence in a state.
“I don’t know,” Corker said. “I don’t know what the details of it are. I know that it [legislation] is actually changing right now.”
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is grappling with a sales-tax collection controversy involving the state’s recruitment of Amazon to build distribution centers in Hamilton and Bradley counties.
The governor has said he is “more than willing” to take a national role in pushing Congress to act, but it appears Haslam has got his work cut out for him with just his home-state delegation.
Corker said that, while he
has talked with Haslam some about the issue, “he has not mentioned that he may be taking a leadership [role], but we both have a lot going on.”

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