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Mar. 11, 2015

Here We Go Again: Online Sales Tax Resurrected

An online sales tax bill passed the Senate (with 27 mostly Republicans voting “no”) in 2013 but flamed out in the House. Its sponsors, however, are undeterred. The Hill reports, “Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) rolled out the Marketplace Fairness Act on Tuesday, which would give states more power to collect sales taxes from businesses that don’t have a physical location within their borders.” As Mark Alexander explained two years ago, the MFA is designed to force states to collect taxes for the states in which a purchaser resides, and this amounts to taxation without representation. Clearly, politicians want this bill passed to raise new tax revenue for broken state governments facing budget shortfalls. Mitch McConnell opposed the bill as Senate minority leader. Now that he’s majority leader, we’ll see if he holds true.

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