Senate overwhelmingly votes in favor of Internet sales tax bill

By on May 7, 2013, 9:00 AM
internet, senate, president obama, house of representatives, internet sales tax, marketplace fairness act

Members of the US Senate approved a bill on Monday that would allow states to charge sales tax on purchases made over the Internet. The Marketplace Fairness Act received 69 votes in favor versus just 27 votes against. Riding a wave of support from President Obama, the bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

The Marketplace Fairness Act aims to overturn a ruling by the Supreme Court in 1996 which said out-of-state retailers typically don’t have to collect sales tax online unless they have a heavy business presence in the state the sale is made in. This is how a number of retailers on the web get away with not charging sales tax – an unfair advantage according to members of the Marketplace Fairness Coalition.

Retailers like Best Buy, Macy’s and Wal-Mart are all in favor of the bill as they feel it would help to level the playing field. Those against the bill see it as little more than a multibillion-dollar tax hike against American consumers.

Others like eBay CEO John Donahoe argue that the proposed changes would create an unreasonable burden for small business owners. Just last month, the executive sent an email to eBay members urging them to contact their representatives to let them know they were against the bill. Donahoe noted in the message that the legislation treats eBay users the same as big multimillion-dollar online retailers like Amazon (a company that supports the bill’s passage).




User Comments: 23

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2 people like this | MilwaukeeMike said:

The Marketplace Fairness Act? Why is it that every time the govt talks about fairness we end up paying more tax?

spencer spencer said:

Ok looks more like 1776 to me everyday,wake up or this WILL get worse

1 person liked this | 3DCGMODELER 3DCGMODELER said:

This is another tax.... pretty soon the taxes will over come the U.S. and people will not be able to afford anything....

add taxes.. add taxes...add taxes... add taxes... add taxes... add taxes... add taxes... add taxes... add taxes... add taxes... add taxes... add taxes... add taxes... add taxes... add taxes... add taxes... add taxes... add taxes... add taxes... add taxes...

thats how the Government solves it's problems....

Scshadow said:

Where do I even start with how this bill makes me feel... there is no hope for the united states. Yes, with all the issues that compound and play into this, that is the eventual conclusion, no exaggeration.

ArthurZ ArthurZ said:

BitCoin is the answer

1 person liked this | Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I'm not an American but the world over, the consumer is not supposed to win.

1 person liked this | spencer spencer said:

Bitcoin very well may be he answer, although if the feds weren't in it somehow how is it still operating, since it is a decentralized not corrupt entity, opposed to the fed reserve which essentially prints counterfeit bills, I also realize America may be extremely messed up but the countries that are already disarmed are in for huge trouble.

Cycloid Torus Cycloid Torus said:

Worse than I can believe...expanded definition of taxing authorities means retailers may be subjected to HUNDREDS of compliance audits each year...bad drafting...little forethought...limited understanding...sadly, government at work. Coping with auditors is a cost of business, but this is surreal.

So, I wrote my congressman..

On the lighter side, it was bipartisan.

Guest said:

This is doomed to pass! Liberals and democrats want more tax payer funded money to spend(at any cost), and republicans are in support of big private sector companies that all want this to pass.

You may have noticed I left out conservatives. Thats because the conservative solution to a "fair internet tax" would be to lower ALL business taxes. That means lowering the tax burden on companies with physical store locations to even the playing field. Not punishing the companies that don't have them(usually small businesses) by raising their taxes, adding additional cost, and strain on them.

And remember, high business taxes(The US has some of the highest in the world) is one reason why American businesses have shifted many of its job oversees. Larger internet companies will simply find ways to shift their headquarters oversees and avoid the tax burden anyway. I for one would rather them keep doing business on our shores.

I agree with some of the other comments that this is a sign that America is in the decline. The idea that it is a good idea to raise anyones taxes when your economy is failing is just plain suicide. Market competition seeds growth and keeps your economy going. America should be encouraging it, not punishing it if it wants to succeed. We used to know this fact. But remember, long past are the days that the people in washington shared a common goal with that of the American people.

danhodge danhodge said:

I'm from the UK, and haven't heard much about this - but if its the same tax that is put on normal products (that aren't bought online) then I can't see how this is that bad.

I mean sure, consumers are worse off from it, but no more so than people that shop in store than online.

If Amazon agree with it, then it can't be too bad. It cannot physically have any good impact on Amazon, whatsoever.

1 person liked this | howzz1854 said:

I'm from the UK, and haven't heard much about this - but if its the same tax that is put on normal products (that aren't bought online) then I can't see how this is that bad.

I mean sure, consumers are worse off from it, but no more so than people that shop in store than online.

If Amazon agree with it, then it can't be too bad. It cannot physically have any good impact on Amazon, whatsoever.

people just don't like paying for taxes that's all. but you're right, there's no difference. you're buying the same product it's just not being taxes if you bought it online. the gov't looses out everytime someone buys online. our tax dollar is not being collected. if we all were to buy goods online from another state, the gov't would collect no sales tax. but does that mean there's no commerce going on in the country? no.

it's human nature that nobody wants to pay taxes, heck I don't like it either, but without sales tax being properly thought out, and reformed to reflect the new digital age, you can collect your own garbage and pave your own road, and get your own water.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Well, I was looking to buy a new HDTV. Looks like this is the time to do it. Save myself $70-$100 on sales tax.

howzz1854 said:

Well, I was looking to buy a new HDTV. Looks like this is the time to do it. Save myself $70-$100 on sales tax.

if you're looking to buy a new HDTV, you'll most likely end up paying the same price tax free or not. amazon typically has the lowest price for online, but you still need to pay amazon tax. the 3rd party online stores that so far still don't collect taxes likely won't have the same lowest price as amazon. other retailers that have floor prices and free shipping will collect taxes as well like Frys, Best Buy, Pauls TV. it'll all equal out. I just bought mine two months ago. your best bet is to find the lowest price on amazon, and have the physical stores price match them, "sometimes", they'll even waive the sales tax as well. that's how I did mine, they offered me either tax free with financing, or online price match. the online price matched came down to be better option. I got the TOP end samsung 60 inch LED last year's model for 40% off original retail.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Well, I was looking to buy a new HDTV. Looks like this is the time to do it. Save myself $70-$100 on sales tax.

if you're looking to buy a new HDTV, you'll most likely end up paying the same price tax free or not. amazon typically has the lowest price for online, but you still need to pay amazon tax. the 3rd party online stores that so far still don't collect taxes likely won't have the same lowest price as amazon. other retailers that have floor prices and free shipping will collect taxes as well like Frys, Best Buy, Pauls TV. it'll all equal out. I just bought mine two months ago. your best bet is to find the lowest price on amazon, and have the physical stores price match them, "sometimes", they'll even waive the sales tax as well. that's how I did mine, they offered me either tax free with financing, or online price match. the online price matched came down to be better option. I got the TOP end samsung 60 inch LED last year's model for 40% off original retail.

I've actually found that when it comes to electronics and computer components, Amazon rarely has the best pricing. NewEgg, TigerDirect, B&H Photo beats whatever Amazon offers 95% of the time. Also, I live in Washington, so I'm subject to the sales tax. I'm looking for a specific HDTV and so far, this is the best pricing I've found - free shipping, no sales tax. I'd pay at least $200 more plus sales tax at any brick and mortar store here:

[link]

howzz1854 said:

That is a really good deal. I got the UN60ES8000 LED model two months ago for $2300. it was the lowest on amazon and Paul's price matched. my experience has always been amazon is cheaper than newegg and B&H by at least 5~10%, both include taxes, except Amazon always ships free and has no hassle return. you can play exchange roulette however many times and they'll do it. B&H sometimes makes you pay for shipping.

Guest said:

I am not sure how anyone can be against this. Uneducated I guess is the only thing I can think of.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Here's the soundtrack for this thread. Tom Petty & Friend do George Harrisons, "Taxman"

I thought I posted this before. Did somebody pull it? If so, "why" would be a nice thing to know.

Saintnsinner said:

Her comes tax free international retail. You pay a company in Mexico for items shipped from a warehouse in the US. Way to put US retail out of business. ******!

Guest said:

This is fine with me, but do away with income tax. Living in Texas, I would actually prefer this plus increase the sales tax a bit and do away with income tax. More revenue would be seen since illegal immigrants would be paying the same amount of tax as everyone else.

howzz1854 said:

This is fine with me, but do away with income tax. Living in Texas, I would actually prefer this plus increase the sales tax a bit and do away with income tax. More revenue would be seen since illegal immigrants would be paying the same amount of tax as everyone else.

then I think you should move to your own island and make your own roads and setup your own town and only pay sales tax when you have UPS or Fedex deliver your goods, that's if they can get there. paying income tax is every citizen's obligation, it's universal. it's one of the fundamental obligations of being a citizen to any country. income tax is one of the most fundamental and main way our federal government can function. the fact that you would suggest NOT paying for this fundamental due is disgraceful. Guest

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Arguably speaking most US states already have Use Tax statutes that "require" tax entities to declare untaxed goods so they can be taxed properly within the state. This is basically what this new Bill intends to enforce, but the wording and how everyone seems to take it makes it sound like a brand new tax. It really isn't, but the states are not properly enforcing the laws already on their own books so they turn to congress to do it for them.

Guest said:

Lol the US is starting to look like Canada. Taxing its people to death. Soon we'll be taxed to breathe air.

Tygerstrike said:

Its not uneducated ppl. Its butthurt ppl. They want their cake and to eat it too. When the first bill was passed allowing the internet to have tax free purchases, it was an incentive to cause E-Commerce to grow. Well it has grown, its growing has caused problems in and of itself. Now, Internet purchasing has "Grown up". To be honest, you people have no one to blame but yourselves ofr this tax. Just as the Govt expected the Sheeple flocked. And now you get butthurt? People, youve been getting "sheared" by the govt for many many decades. Only now when something starts to affect you do you pull your head and stop chewing the govt feed? Perhaps you should just step away from the computer because you are simply doing what THEY want.

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