Monday, July 16, 2012

Republican governors drop opposition to online sales taxes

The Wall Street Journal reports that Republican governors are dropping their opposition to imposing sales taxes on online purchases in order to raise revenue for their state governments. The first breakthrough was New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who cut a deal with Amazon to collect sales tax in return for state financial support for new distribution facilities. The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that states could receive an additional $23 billion in revenues if all online purchases were subject to sales tax. Virginia, Texas and Nevada--all states with Republican governors--have done similar deals with Amazon.

According to the article, the Republican Governors Association opposed online sales taxes as late as last February. Republican Senator Lamar Alexander and Democrat Dick Durbin are using the change in attitude to build support for a bill they've co-sponsored that would require online merchants to collect sales tax. Amazon supports the bill, but most other online-only retailers oppose it.
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