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. Conservative 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.
Tennessee leaders caved when Amazon.com threatened to cancel its Tennessee expansion if state government tried to force the online retailer to collect sales taxes. But Amazon won’t be able to avoid collecting state sales taxes forever.
Pressure continues to build from a variety of sources, including potential federal legislation and a newspaper ad campaign funded by Amazon competitors.
The newspaper ads target Amazon shareholders’ annual meeting being held today in Seattle. Also, Politico reported Monday that Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) may introduce a bill this week that would allow states to require out-of-state online retailers to collect state sales taxes.
The pressure is building to end Amazon.com’s days as a tax-free retailer, according to Forbes.com.
I hope Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is paying attention. Amazon should not get away with an unfair tax break anymore.
Forbes specifically mentions Tennessee’s deal with Amazon:
In Tennessee, where state regulations explicitly require an in-state distribution center to collect tax on shipments to in-state customers the Department of Revenue has proposed changing the rule to exempt a distribution center if at least half of its sales come from shipments out of state. That has prompted howls of protest from both Tennesseans for Fair Taxation, a coalition of labor and church groups, and some local merchants.