The Senate Votes To Hammer Americans Who Buy Online With New Sales Taxes


If you buy online, you already have to pay a shipping fee that takes a bigger bite out of your wallet than a sales tax. However, if the Senate has its way, you’ll have to pay a sales tax on top of the shipping fees.

Internet Taxes

From the Hill.

The Senate on Friday overwhelmingly approved an amendment empowering states to collect taxes for online sales, delivering a huge victory to lawmakers and stakeholders who have devoted more than two years to the effort.

Sens. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) watched their amendment sail through the upper chamber on a 75-24 vote, confirming their hunch that their legislation has the support needed to pass outside the budget process.

The Senate accepted Durbin’s amendment by voice vote after his Enzi’s modifications were approved.

…The legislation would exempt small businesses that earn less than $1 million annually from out-of-state sales.

…Sen. Kelley Ayotte (R-N.H.) said Durbin’s amendment “tramples on states rights” and would harm small businesses in her state because they would be forced to collect taxes for other states.

…“It basically forces all states to have sales tax whether they want them or not,” Baucus said. “In Montana, we don’t have sales tax but we’ll have to collect sales tax for other states under this law.”

Who benefits if this becomes law? Brick and mortar retailers, who undoubtedly funneled a lot of cash into the campaign coffers of Senators who supported it.

On the other hand, who loses? Of course, online retailers will be badly hurt by it.

However, the biggest losers if this becomes law would be those of us who shop online. Some of the retailers we’d like to buy from will go out of business because they won’t be able to handle all of the red tape. Moreover, this sort of legislation may strangle the next Etsy or Amazon in the crib, which means fewer choices for consumers. Additionally, at other outlets, we’ll have to pay more for the same purchases.

Let’s hope that eventually Congress decides to put the American people first, instead of saddling us with new sales taxes to benefit their deep pocketed campaign contributors.

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