Conservatives: Online sales tax bill costs customers $340b

A proposal to give states more power to collect sales taxes from online purchases would cost consumers as much as $340 billion over a decade, according to a new study from a conservative group.

{mosads}The National Taxpayers Union said they largely extrapolated that $340 billion figure from data released by the National Conference of State Legislatures, which found that the Marketplace Fairness Act would raise roughly $23 billion in 2012.

Using the Congressional Budget Office’s projections for economic growth, the conservative group then projected that customers would be on the hook for an extra $30 billion to $34 billion a year between 2015 and 2024.

That’s more than the budget of 43 states, the group said, costing roughly $360 a household. And NTU argues its projections still might not capture the full impact of the proposal. The group, for instance, doesn’t project compliance costs that businesses might face from the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said that he wants to get the online sales tax bill to President Obama’s desk before the end of the year, and advocates are trying to pair it with a less controversial measure, the Internet Tax Freedom Act.

Proponents of the Marketplace Fairness Act says the measure would largely only collect taxes already owed, and that the current set-up gives online retailers an unfair advantage over brick-and-mortar shops.

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