Online Sales Tax Bill Having Tough Time in House

The Senate has passed a bill requiring online companies to collect sales tax that President Obama seems amenable to signing if it reaches his desk. But the legislation faces a rough time making it out of the House of Representatives. 

The Marketplace Fairness Act is “floundering” in the House, U.S. News and World Report reported this week, noting that it has “found few friends” in the lower body and Speaker John Boehner has come out against it.

The legislation, which has 66 cosponsors in the House, would put “a big burden on some very small businesses,” Boehner has said. 

On June 18, a group of prominent conservatives, including Republican Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas, held a rally against the online sales tax bill, attempting to stop a vote on it.

“The reason it has passed—and it passed with a significant margin in the Senate—is because we have a lot of very powerful lobbyists in D.C. who are supporting this bill,” Cruz said, according to Politico.

House JudiciaryChairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., whose committee will consider the bill, seemed a little more on the fence, saying in a statement, “I have previously stated that I have serious concerns regarding the Marketplace Fairness Act passed by the Senate.  However…I am open to considering legislation concerning this topic.” 

The bill’s supporters note that even the Marketplace Fairness Act doesn’t go anywhere, the issue may still have traction. A law requiring online companies to collect sales tax could still pass as a rider to another bill, they say.

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JCK News Director