Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam urges Congress to pass federal legislation on online sales tax

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam willing to take lead on Internet sales tax

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam willing to take lead on Internet sales tax

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam (R) said today that he is willing take the lead among the nation’s governors in urging Congress to pass federal legislation on online sales tax. The full details can be found in an article in the Memphis-based newspaper The Commercial Appeal.

He said Tennessee is already losing between $300 million and $500 million a year on untaxed Internet sales — a growing number since the states and Congress have been unable for more than a decade to agree on a “streamlined sales tax” process enabling online retailers to collect taxes easily for the nation’s thousands of state and local taxing jurisdictions.

“It’s not going to begin eroding the state’s tax base; it already is. Something has to happen nationally. The whole streamlined sales tax is a big deal, and I’m more than willing to play a leadership role,” Haslam said. “It has to be addressed on a national level or we’re going to keep playing these kinds of move-around games.”

We’re thrilled to see Gov. Haslam step forward and take the lead on the issue.

As our regular readers are well aware, more and more states (like California) are striking out on their own to try and solve this problem by enacting affiliate nexus legislation. There is clearly a need to recover the sales tax revenue currently going uncollected while also eliminating the blatant disparity of tax policy between local and online retailers. But these state-by-state solutions all have problems—only federal legislation can bring back uncollected sales tax revenue, level the playing field for local and online retailers, and make collecting sales tax easier for retailers.

The Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA), which the governor refers to, simplifies and standardizes sales tax regulations to make it easier for retailers to collect sales tax for multiple states. The Main Street Fairness Act will authorize only those states (24 so far) that have adopted the simplification measures of SSUTA to require all retailers to collect their sales tax.

Governor Haslam has made it very clear that he supports federal legislation embodied by the much-anticipated Main Street Fairness Act. We have also heard similar supportive statements and outright pleas from other governors this year as well. We will start a separate post to detail the complete list—in the meantime, way to go Governor Haslam and Tennessee!

7 Responses to Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam urges Congress to pass federal legislation on online sales tax

  1. Anonymous says:

    So an organization that has the preamble to our Constitution in it’s header is endorsing even MORE taxation on the premise that states are losing money? I should have the right to keep the lion’s share of my labors. After all I worked for it, not the states. And this web site is promoting another way to confiscate it…..Go figure.

    • FedTax.net says:

      Dear Anonymous;

      Actually, we do not endorse “even MORE taxation” on any premise. This debate is not about how much your are taxed, or for what purpose – that debate happens with your vote at every election when you select your local, state, and federal representatives or approve local ballot initiatives. Specifically, your local initiatives are generally funded through the collection of your local sales tax by retailers in your community.

      The question is: Why should internet retailers be allowed to disregard your voter intent and the collective will of your community?

      The answer is: They shouldn’t.

      FedTax proudly displays the preamble of our Constitution in our header for that exact reason.

  2. [...] politicians have voiced their support for this legislation—among them, Senator John Boozman, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, and Indiana State Senator Luke Kenley. There is absolutely nothing partisan about the Main Street [...]

  3. [...] of Republican supporters, among them Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), Senator John Boozman (R-AR), and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam (not to mention all the Republican supporter in state legislatures, such as Luke Kenley (IN) [...]

  4. [...] Governor Bill Haslam has spoken publicly in support of the Main Street Fairness Act in the past, and he mentioned it again during the [...]

  5. [...] Alexander (R-TN), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Roy Blunt (R-MO),  Bob Corker (R-TN) and John Boozman (R-AR), Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, Maine Governor Paul LePage, and many local lawmakers, such as Texas State Representative John [...]

  6. [...] now just how much they need a national law (Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, Maine Governor Paul LePage, and many [...]

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