Public Warns Congress: Force an Internet Sales Tax at Your Own Risk
Marguerite Bowling /
While movement on a bill to extend the reach of state sales tax laws to out-of-state retailers has been quiet lately, that doesn’t mean the American public is more accepting of the idea.
A new poll released by the National Taxpayers Union and R Street Institute showed that 57 percent of likely voters oppose letting state tax authorities require out-of-state retailers to collect sales taxes for them. Only 35 percent support the idea.
“Voters across ideologies and demographics oppose the Marketplace Fairness Act and support the current policy regarding the Internet sales tax,” the poll said, noting that opposition to the Internet sales tax is high among swing voters.
The new results nearly mirror those from a June Gallup poll that found the idea of taxing purchases on the Internet comes up against stiff opposition. Approximately 57 percent of U.S. adults would vote against a law that allowed each state to collect sales tax on purchases that its residents made online.
Heritage regulatory expert James Gattuso has warned that Congress should not extend the power of state tax collectors beyond their own borders. Calling the MFA “a deceptively simple solution,” he argues that the legislation would not level the playing field for retailers, but instead would create more unequal burdens, in conflict with principles of federalism.