News release from Sen. Lamar Alexander’s office:
WASHINGTON, April 22 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) released the following statement today on the U.S. Senate’s decision, by a vote of 74-20, to begin debate on the Marketplace Fairness Act, of which he is a lead cosponsor:
“This legislation boils down to two words: states’ rights,” Alexander said. “We ought to support states’ rights by letting Tennessee and other states decide whether they want to collect taxes that are already owed, and how to treat businesses fairly in the marketplace. Tennessee wants to avoid a state income tax and treat businesses fairly in the marketplace, and it shouldn’t have to play ‘Mother, May I?’ with the federal government to do so.”
The senator spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate in support of beginning debate on the legislation. Today’s vote to begin debate follows a March 23 vote by the U.S. Senate to pass an amendment to the budget resolution supporting the Marketplace Fairness Act. Both votes included a majority of Republicans.
Alexander said the Senate “sent a clear message in support of the 10th Amendment, saying that states should have the right to collect, or not collect, sales taxes from all who owe it and close a tax loophole that picks winners and losers in the marketplace.”
The Marketplace Fairness Act would grant states the option to require that remote businesses, such as those selling online or through catalogs, collect sales taxes on purchases within states’ borders. Currently, remote businesses do not have to collect sales taxes in the states they sell into, while brick-and-mortar businesses do, creating a price disadvantage.
Alexander sponsored the legislation along with Senators Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and a bipartisan group of 26 other senators, including Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.). The legislation also has the support of Tennessee’s Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, as well as other Republican governors and conservative leaders across the country.
Note: A statement from Corker is below.
News release from Sen. Bob Corker’s office:
WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., made the following statement today after voting in favor of debating S. 743, “The Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013.”
“I think most Tennesseans would agree that we’re fortunate not to have a state income tax, and to help ensure that remains the case, it’s important our sales tax system works. This is a states’ rights bill that gives states like Tennessee the ability to enforce existing state tax laws and collect sales taxes on online purchases if they choose. It also levels the playing field between local brick-and-mortar businesses, who have invested in the state and currently have to collect sales taxes, and online retailers who are sometimes out-of-state entities and do not have to collect the Tennessee sales tax,” said Corker.
In a Wall Street Journal column earlier this month, former Reagan economic advisor and Nashville resident Art Laffer, writes in favor of the Marketplace Fairness Act, saying, “Addressing e-fairness from a pro-growth perspective creates several benefits for the economy.”