At a press conference last Wednesday, Representatives Steve Womack (R-AR) and Jackie Speier (D-CA) and National Governors Association Executive Director Dan Crippen spoke about internet sales tax.
Womack and Speier are strong supporters of federal legislation that would allow states to require online retailers to collect sales tax. Womack responded to opponents who say that enforcing a tax that usually goes unpaid amounts to creating a new tax: “You have to wonder, is avoiding or ignoring the law the leg on which you want to base your argument?” Said Crippen, “It’s no more a new tax than if you hadn’t been paying your property taxes, then suddenly you’re on the rolls and you start paying your property taxes.”
Also in attendance was Andrew DeMoss, senior accountant at Simms Fishing Products in Montana, who spoke to the concerns of small businesses that collecting sales tax online could be difficult. The company recently began collecting sales tax in its online store using sales tax software. “If we can do it, anyone can do it,” he said.
In May, the Senate voted overwhelmingly in support of the Marketplace Fairness Act, a bill that would allow states to require internet retailers to collect sales tax. The issue is now with the House of Representatives.