Associations Rail Against Federal Online Sales Tax Bill

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ADOTAS – Yesterday we noted that Democrats in both houses of Congress had introduced versions of the “Main Street Fairness Act,” a federal framework for state governments regarding the collection of online sales tax. Amazon, which is bringing out the big guns for recently passed California online sales tax legislation, supports the legislation, as the Internet retailer has long advocated for the feds to take the lead regarding states collection tax off of online sales.

Leading the opposition is eBay, which has quite a stake in the legislation as it serves as a transaction platform for thousands of small businesses and affiliates. Brian Bieron, senior director of federal government relations and global public policy, had some none-too-kind words about the bill, calling it “outdated.”

eBay has a coalition of industry groups backing it up, and sent us statements from a whole lotta people that disapprove of the bill.

American Homeowners Grassroots Alliance (AHGA) President Bruce Hahn:

“The Main Street Fairness Act takes us in the wrong direction. The AHGA believes that Congress should ban the collection of state and local Internet sales taxes rather than expand the collection of sales taxes on Internet purchases.”

Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) President & CEO Ed Black:

“Penalizing businesses for utilizing technology and innovation is not fairness, but merely a shortsighted targeting of new revenue models, while protecting existing business models at the expense of consumers and growth.”

The Electronic Retailing Association (ERA) President and CEO Julie Coons:

“New and misguided remote tax schemes will represent a dramatic blow to electronic retailers struggling to survive in these harsh economic times. New regulatory burdens and draconian cost increases would significantly damage both the marketplace and the consumers who rely on it.”

The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) released the following statement:

“Forcing online retailers to take on the same costs and tax burdens as national retailers is unrealistic and will unbalance the playing field between the ‘brick and mortar’ businesses and the smaller online retailers on the Internet. Congress has an opportunity to pursue a pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda, but the Main Street Fairness Act will set America back at a time when we can’t afford to lose momentum.”

National Taxpayers Union (NTU) Executive Vice President Pete Sepp:

“Giving governments even more sweeping powers to tax won’t restore any part of the private sector to health, especially the small businesses Americans are counting on to lead a resurgence in job and income growth.”

NetChoice Executive Director Steve DelBianco:

“Congress often says that small businesses are the backbone of the economic recovery, but these new collection costs will break the backs of many small online businesses. This legislation fails to define safe harbors for small businesses, virtually guaranteeing that small and medium retailers will receive little help in complying with thousands of state and local tax jurisdictions.”

TechNet President and CEO Rey Ramsey:

“The Main Street Fairness Act bills will make it more complicated, expensive and onerous to conduct business on the Internet. During these difficult economic times, the last thing we need are additional burdens on this growing economic sector.”

Care to share your opinion below?