Senators Hope to Pass Online Sales Tax This Year

Two prominent Senate supporters of “sales tax fairness”—which would require online retailers to collect sales tax—said they hope to pass the measure this year.

An effort to add the measure to a defense authorization bill failed, reports say. But Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) told The Hill newspaper that his legislation still has a chance of passage before the end of 2012.

“There’ll be other bills that come up before the end of the year,” he said. “We’ll look for a vehicle.”

Enzi said he believes the measure would have the 60 votes necessary for passage.

But both Enzi and another Senate sponsor of the measure, Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), said that it likely won’t be attached to the legislation dealing with the so-called “fiscal cliff.”

“The momentum and support is there for sales tax fairness,” says Jewelers of America associate director of public affairs Susan Thea Posnock. “JA is hopeful that e-fairness legislation will pass in the near-term: as early as this holiday season or sometime early in the new Congress.”

She notes that Cyber Monday saw record-breaking sales for online retailers.

“This confirms the fact that in the modern-day retail marketplace, online retailers are ubiquitous, enjoy ease of access to consumers, and as their record-breaking sales demonstrate, enjoy great success,” she adds. “Unfortunately, under existing law, they also continue to enjoy an inherent competitive advantage over brick-and-mortar retailers.”

JA asks industry members to contact representatives about the legislation through this link:

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