The Senate is scheduled to vote, possibly today, on the “Marketplace Fairness Act” which would force online retailers to collect sales taxes on products sold to consumers in every state, county and town in the country. It would be a massive hot mess and Senator Ted Cruz has come out strongly against it. He described it in a Real Clear Politics op-ed.
Senators who vote for it are voting to impose audits, compliance costs, lost wages, and inefficiency on small businesses in every state. And they are potentially crippling an engine of new job creation at a time of economic struggle. This bill will not create jobs; it will not create new opportunities; and it will not create the economic growth our country needs and our people deserve.
Currently, online sellers collect sales taxes based on their physical location. The MFA, however, would fundamentally change how businesses collect those taxes. Instead, it would require online retailers to charge taxes based on the consumer’s location or where the product is ultimately consumed. That’s like your grocery store quizzing you on where you’re going to eat those apples or Hallmark asking where you’re going to send that Christmas card. The compliance burdens associated with charging taxes based on the consumer’s location are mind-numbingly complicated.
Consider this: Online and catalogue retailers with gross sales of $1 million — a level that is mom & pop size in many places — will be forced to collect sales taxes for the country’s 9,600 state and local tax jurisdictions. Just as Obamacare punishes small business with taxes and regulations for employing more than 50 people, this legislation would punish small businesses for making more than $1 million in sales. For many businesses it may be more beneficial to make less money than to keep track of all the different taxes. (Read More)
Cruz also released this video to drive the point home. While you’re calling your Senators about the rotten immigration bill, be sure to let them know about this, too. The number is (202) 224-3121. Light up the switchboard.
Update: The bill passed in the Senate, as expected.