Poll: Do You Support An Internet Sales Tax?

Internet sales tax bill divides Republicans, vote looms in Senate

Read more: /politics/2013/04/25/internet-sales-tax-bill-divides-republicans-vote-looms-in-senate/#ixzz2RUvIBVyA


After holding firm against virtually any kind of tax increase, some congressional Republicans have found one that doesn't make them cringe. 

A contentious bill which could come for a final vote in the Senate as early as Thursday would empower states to make online retailers collect sales taxes for purchases made over the Internet. Though it would likely face more resistance in the House, where the anti-tax creed is more pronounced, a number of Senate Republicans -- and Republican governors -- are supporting the bill. 


The legislation passed a test vote in the Senate Wednesday, 74 to 23, with 27 Republicans voting in favor. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., vowed to pass the bill this week, before senators leave for a scheduled vacation. 


Some of the most powerful anti-tax advocacy groups in Washington are still fighting to block the bill. Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, warns the bill would set a "precedent for further expansions of state-level tax collection authority." 


He said the bill is about "money-hungry state legislators." 


The Heritage Foundation says that "real conservatives" oppose the bill and that it would hurt online commerce and force small businesses to jump through new bureaucratic hoops. 


Yet a number of prominent conservatives are voicing support for the plan. Under the bill, the sales taxes would be sent to the states where a shopper lives. Under current law, states can only require online companies to collect sales taxes if the store has a physical presence in the state. As a result, many online sales are essentially tax-free, giving Internet retailers an advantage over brick-and-mortar stores. 


While Republicans generally oppose higher taxes -- and agreed to an increase on top earners as part of the fiscal crisis deal only after negotiating a narrower hike than the administration originally envisioned -- supporters of the Internet sales tax bill insist it is not a tax increase. 

Instead, they say, the bill merely provides states with a mechanism to enforce current taxes. 


"This bill has nothing to do with imposing any kind of new tax or revenue generator," said Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. "What this law does is allow states that already have laws on the books to carry out the implementation of those" laws." 


South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard, a Republican, called it a "matter of equity and fairness." 


"The same people who are selling the same products should be paying the same taxes," he said. 


Supporters say the bill is about fairness for businesses and lost revenue for states. 


But opponents say it would impose complicated regulations on retailers and doesn't have enough protections for small businesses. Businesses with less than $1 million a year in online sales would be exempt. 


While online giant Amazon has come around to the tax, major online retailers like eBay are strongly opposing it. 


Many of the nation's governors -- Republicans and Democrats -- have been lobbying the federal government for years for the authority to collect sales taxes from online sales. 


The issue is getting bigger for states as more people make purchases online. Last year, Internet sales in the U.S. totaled $226 billion, up nearly 16 percent from the previous year, according to Commerce Department estimates. 


The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that states lost $23 billion last year because they couldn't collect taxes on out-of-state sales. Daugaard estimates that South Dakota loses $48 million to $58 million a year, important revenue for a state that doesn't have an income tax. 


The main opposition in the Senate is coming from three states that have no sales taxes: New Hampshire, Montana and Oregon. Delaware doesn't have a sales tax, either, but both Delaware senators have voted to advance the bill. 


"We don't like the idea of other states auditing our businesses," said Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. "They don't like the idea of being subject to both bureaucrats and potential legal action." 


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Is Facebook a fad?


Half of all Americans polled believe that Facebook is a fad...at least according to a survery conducted by the Associated Press and CNBC. We want to know..what do you think? Is this social media success just a fad? Is it like the pet rock, troll dolls, Beanie Babies, acid-wash jeans and your last diet? Or is it here to stay?

Have any fads that you miss? Share them with us!

"Like" a few photos, post a status update, and register to be an organ donor!


Facebook users now have the option to indicate whether or not they are organ donors and the state in which they are registered in. Facebook says this is a great way to save lives and to potentially eliminate organ transplant waiting lists..as many as 7,000 Americans die every year waiting for a transplant. Several states, including California, have seen drastic increases in the number of organ donor designations since the program began.

We want to know..what do you think of this? Is it really the next frontier (will social media eventually play a role in all aspects of our lives) or is Facebook going too far in asking for health records?

What do you think?


A 76-year-old Vietnam veteran, Jerry Meekins, purchased a ticket on Spirit Airlines for $197 to visit his daughter prior to a surgery she was scheduled to undergo. The man, who suffers form esophageal cancer, was told my his doctor he could not fly. Meekins called Spirit to request a refund and was told the company has a non-refundable ticket policy for all passengers-- regardless of the situation.

Numerous groups have come out in support of Mr. Meekins and Spirit did offer to allow him to fly at a later date (probably not possible for this dying man) and now we want to know what you think...

Do you think they should refund him the $197 and change the current policy? OR...do you think the policy really should apply to all passengers and that if they change it for one person it would be settng a dangerous precedent?

What do you think?

As the Supreme Court hears arguments over the Arizona immigration law we want to know what you think...should individual states have the right to make their own immigration laws?



Coming Up

How will gun control momentum carry over into next week?

Tonight's All-Star Panel

  • Mollie Hemingway @MZHemingway
  • Dan Balz @danbalz
  • Stephen Hayes @stephenfhayes

Premium Podcasts

Missed the All-Star Panel on Special Report with Bret Baier? You can now get a daily audio podcast of Fox News Channel's Special Report All-Star Panel.

Monthly Subscription
Yearly Subscription