Durbin sees defense bill as vehicle for online sales tax

Retail groups and Amazon are among those pushing for the online sales tax bill, which would allow states to charge sales taxes on retailers from outside their borders – something they’re currently not allowed to do because of a 1992 Supreme Court decision. 

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Those groups argue that the legislation would allow brick-and-mortar stores to play on an even playing field with online retailers, at least when it comes to taxes.

But some key conservatives and other online retailers, like eBay, oppose the measure – saying, among other things, that it would be a huge burden for small Internet outfits to have to collect sales taxes from across the country.

“By all indications, retailers are coming off of their best Black Friday and Cyber Monday ever,” said Phil Bond, the executive director of the WE R HERE Coalition, which was recently formed to oppose congressional proposals.

“So it is puzzling that some in Congress are still insistent on helping big box retailers crush their small business competition by saddling them with new tax collection burdens.

On the House side, Reps. Steve Womack (R-Ark.), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) are also working to pass an online sales tax measure.