GOP Maine governor urges Snowe and Collins to support online sales tax


"Unfortunately, a damaging inequity exists in the retail marketplace because some online retailers are not required to collect Maine sales tax, but Maine retailers are," LePage wrote. "Not only does this hurt Maine businesses, it hurts the state. If the handcuffs on these small retailers were removed, they could compete on equal terms. They would generate mores sales, pay more sales tax to the state treasury, hire more local retailers and pump more money into local economies throughout Maine." 

Under current law, people who buy goods online are supposed to declare those purchases on their tax forms, but few do. As a result, most people do not pay taxes on their online purchases.

The Marketplace Fairness Act, sponsored by Sens. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate GOP eyes probes into 2016 issues 'swept under the rug' Senate gears up for Green New Deal vote Senate Dems petition Saudi king to release dissidents, US citizen MORE (D-Ill.), Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziGOP surprise raises new questions for Trump budget Senate GOP budget ignores Trump, cuts defense Progressives seek defense freeze in budget talks MORE (R-Wyo.) and Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderSenate gears up for Green New Deal vote Overnight Health Care — Presented by the American Conservative Union — ObamaCare enrollment dips slightly to 11.4M signups for 2019 | Dem support grows for allowing public funds to pay for abortions | House to hold hearing on surprise medical bills House Dems to hold hearing on preventing surprise medical bills MORE (R-Tenn.), would empower states to force online retailers to collect sales taxes.

In his letter, LePage insisted the bill would not raise taxes. 

"It simply provides for the collection of sales tax already due," he wrote.

He said it would be "quite helpful to have certainty about our future revenue streams" as he negotiates a budget with state lawmakers.

"I have pledged to lower Maine income taxes and stop wasteful government spending," LePage wrote. "One powerful tool in achieving these goals would be to have the ability to collect taxes that are due."