“Internet retailers have an advantage over brick and mortar retailers,” Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinLawmakers eye early exit from Washington Senators crafting bill to limit deportations under Trump Warren pushes Dems to get tough with Trump MORE (D-Ill.) said Wednesday. “This has caused many stores on Main Streets to face competition that is unfair … so we’re trying to level the playing field.”
“This legislation would impose new burdens on small businesses not only in New Hampshire but actually across the country,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen Jeanne ShaheenOvernight Tech: Venture capitalists' message to Trump | Bitcoin site ordered to give IRS data | Broadband gets faster Dem senator: Hold hearing on Russian interference in election Scott Brown suggests voter fraud in NH without evidence MORE (D-N.H.) said. “Small businesses across the country — not just in non-sales tax states, such as New Hampshire, but small businesses across the country — will see their tax burdens increase.”
The bill would exempt small businesses that earn less than $1 million annually from out-of-state sales and requires states to provide retailers with software to calculate sales taxes based on a buyer’s zip code.
Under current law, states can only collect sales taxes from retailers that have a physical presence in their state. People who order items online from another state are supposed to declare the purchases on their tax forms, but few do or are even aware of the law.
“This issue has grown tremendously because of the explosion of Internet sales," Sen. Heidi HeitkampHeidi HeitkampFeds deny permit for Dakota Access pipeline Priebus says State announcement coming in next 2 weeks Trump flirts with Dems for Cabinet MORE (D-N.D.) said Tuesday. "Remote sellers are getting bigger, and our main street businesses continue to suffer, continue to struggle.
“Let's do this. Let's level the playing field. Let's make this responsive to those main street businesses who everyday struggle and are simply asking for justice."
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max BaucusMax BaucusThe mysterious sealed opioid report fuels speculation Lobbying World Even Steven: How would a 50-50 Senate operate? MORE (D-Mont.) and others who opposed the bill said it should have gone through committee before coming to the Senate floor.
“This is a bill that — once again, as happens all-to-often in this Senate — hasn’t been run through committee, hasn’t been properly vetted, and hasn’t yet had the kinks worked out of it,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellDriverless car industry embraces Trump’s Transportation pick Trump flirts with Dems for Cabinet Lawmakers eye early exit from Washington MORE (R-Ky.) said Tuesday. “It’s not like there aren’t other things that can be done to improve tax compliance from online shoppers — things that don’t require us to turn private businesses into tax collectors for remote state governments.”
Those supporting the bill have called it a “states’ rights bill” because it would allow states — many of which are battling large budget deficits — to collect the revenue they need to fund state programs.
Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidTrump gets chance to remake the courts Democrats local party problem Trump flirts with Dems for Cabinet MORE (D-Nev.) warned senators Wednesday that there could be weekend work if the opposition continues to drag its feet.
“I know this sounds like me crying wolf, but this might be the time the wolf is coming,” Reid said. “If we have to be here Friday, Saturday, we’ve got to finish work on this bill.”
Most opposition to the bill has come from conservative GOP members joined by lawmakers from three states that don’t have sales tax: Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon. Delaware also doesn’t have a sales tax, but its senators didn’t oppose the bill.
Retail groups such as the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association have backed the legislation, which senators have been pushing for years.
Reps. Steve WomackSteve WomackTrump tweets about flag burning, setting off a battle Students across the country spend their 'summer recess' getting involved in politics After the balloons have fallen MORE (R-Ark.), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Peter WelchPeter WelchDems delay vote on picking leaders Left emboldened for post-Obama era Yahoo hack spurs push for legislation MORE (D-Vt.) and John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) have introduced companion legislation in the House.