The PJ Tatler

Boehner: Internet Sales Tax Bill Is Dead

A spokesman for Speaker of the House John Boehner has said the internet sales tax bill will not be moving forward. “The speaker has made clear in the past he has significant concerns about the bill, and it won’t move forward this year,” said spokesman Kevin Smith. “The Judiciary Committee continues to examine the measure and the broader issue. In the meantime, the House and Senate should work together to extend the moratorium on internet taxation without further delay.”

Last year the Senate passed the Market Place Fairness Act in a 69-27 vote, spearheaded by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY).  But supporters have not given up hope yet, despite the remarks coming from the speaker’s office.

“The bill may change or even be folded into another piece of ‘must-pass’ legislation. The fight is far from over,” tweeted Stephen E. Schatz of the National Retail Federation. “We have about three weeks in the lame duck. Anything can happen. Retailers are all in to get this done this year.”

A Durbin aide said: “Our goal hasn’t changed and the bipartisan group of senators and the coalition will continue to work to find a path forward for it.”

The bill’s main supporters are brick and mortar stores that are forced to collect sales tax for online sales but are also forced to compete with virtual stores that do not collect the tax. “It’s strongly backed by the Obama administration, and would provide billions for the coffers of states that levy sales taxes without actually requiring a tax increase. (Purchasers of items online are typically supposed to levy the tax on themselves and send a check to their state, but almost no one does).”