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New Online Sales Tax Bill Would Stop States in Their Tracks

More states are finding creative ways to put the burden of collecting sales tax on out-of-state merchants, thanks in part to Supreme Court Justice Kennedy (see more in this Law.com article about what’s happening and why).

A new bill was introduced this month to try and put a stop to it.

Many readers are familiar with the Marketplace Fairness Act, which seeks to grants states the authority to compel online and catalog retailers (“remote sellers”), no matter where they are located, to collect sales tax at the time of a transaction. The Remote Transactions Parity Act, introduced last year, goes even further.

But earlier this month, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, a Republican from Wisconsin, introduced the No Regulation Without Representation Act of 2016.

“In their never ending quest for new revenues, states are increasingly looking for ways to shift tax and regulatory burdens to people from other states – to whom elected officials are unaccountable,” according to the announcement of the new bill.

Congressman Sensenbrenner said, “States should not have the ability to tax non-citizens, plain and simple. This legislation would help reduce burdensome overregulation, keep government overreaches in check, and ensure that only residents of a state are subjected to tax obligations.”

The Marketplace Fairness Coalition spoke out against the legislation, saying it doesn’t solve the “persistent market distortion that is causing economic harm to both Main Street merchants and states across America but rather prolongs it by proposing an obsolete pre-Internet standard that is out of step with today’s marketplace.”

You can find the announcement and a link to the No Regulation Without Representation Act of 2016 on Congressman Sensenbrenner’s page on the House of Reps website.

Curious about where eBay stands internet sales tax? It published its stance on the Marketplace Fairness Act and the Remote Transactions Parity Act on the eBayMainStreet.com website (pdf format).

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.