House Speaker Unlikely to Back Online Sales Tax

House Speaker John Boehner said he probably won’t back a measure requiring online companies to collect sales tax—another indication that the measure will have a tougher time passing the Republican-controlled House than it did the Senate. 

“You’ve got 50 different sales tax codes, it’s a mess out there,” Boehner (R-OH) said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “What you’re doing is you’re going to make it much more difficult for online retailers to be able to comply with them. When this Internet sales tax moratorium went into place about 15 years ago, it was with an understanding that the states would get together and try to unify and clean up their sales tax systems. They haven’t done it, so you’re putting in a big burden on some very small businesses.” 

Click here for a video of Boehner’s comments.

The House sponsor of the bill, however, sounded more optimistic. 

?“I believe in my heart that this bill is going to pass,” Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR) told the National Retail Federation Washington Conference on May 8. “If not, we as Congress will have presided over the destruction of retail as we know it.”?

“If we’re not successful at marching this through the House, we’d might as well put up a billboard and say ‘shop on the Internet because it’s tax free and always will be tax free,”” he added. 

The Marketplace Fairness Act passed the Senate on May 6. President Obama has indicated he will sign the legislation.

JCK News Director