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U.S. Senate Passes Marketplace Fairness Act

OPB | May 6, 2013 4:24 p.m. | Bend, Oregon

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Monday the U.S. Senate approved a bill that could open the door to the collection of sales tax on internet sales. 

The Marketplace Fairness Act gives individual states the power to compel online retailers with more than a million dollars in annual sales to collect taxes on the state’s behalf.

Both of Oregon’s Senators voted against the bill.  Speaking on the Senate floor, Ron Wyden argued that the Marketplace Fairness Act — or MFA — would undermine the sovereignty of states.

“Proponents of the bill say that the measure is about promoting state’s rights.  But the reality is that it is a coercive affront to state sovereignty. If any state doesn’t wish to subject their business to out-of-state government tax collectors,the MFA tells them in effect “get lost.”

Wyden said he believes the legislation has the potential to crush new businesses under the weight of additional regulation, costly legal fees, and the potential for out-of-state audits.

Action on the bill now moves to the House, where it’s being considered by the Judiciary Committee.

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