A tax even conservatives can like

Now that Congress has passed the payroll tax cut bill maybe it will move quickly to close the online sales tax loophole.

Sen. Lamar Alexander on Thursday urged the Senate to do just that. lamar_alexander.jpgConservative support for Marketplace Fairness Act is building and now is the time to pass the bill, the Tennessee Republican said.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Alexander listed a number of notable conservatives who support closing the loophole that will cost state and local governments $23 billion this year alone. About the only name he didn’t drop was Grover Norquist.

But maybe that won’t matter. Alexander noted that at CPAC last week that the “general agreement was that Congress should act to solve the problem.”

“A number of conservatives have been outspoken supporters for our legislation.  At times, conservatives were reluctant to support it over the years, because it was complicated and because it “sounded like a” tax.  Well, it is about a tax, but it is a tax that is already owed,” Alexander said.

That’s a key point. Consumers may like not paying sales tax when the shop online, but they still owe tax.

Congress needs to act now to make it easy for cash-strapped state and local governments to collect what’s owed.

YouTube Video: Sen. Alexander: There’s strong support for closing online sales tax loophole 

Photo: Sen. Lamar Alexander