Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was on the record back in May in support of federal legislation that would straighten out the sales tax mess associated with online sales. Now that an actual bill has been proposed, Mr. Bezos and company are still behind the legislation.
The Marketplace Fairness Act, sponsored by Senators Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), is expected to help state governments collect roughly $23 billion in additional sales taxes.
"Amazon strongly supports enactment of the Enzi-Durbin-Alexander bill and will work with Congress, retailers, and the states to get this bi-partisan legislation passed," said Paul Misener, Amazon vice president, global public policy, in a press release. "It's a win-win resolution — and as analysts have noted, Amazon offers customers the best prices with or without sales tax."
Others also expressed support for the bi-partisan legislation.
"A true free market is devoid of government preferences and special treatment," said Katherine Lugar, executive vice president for public affairs at the Retail Industry Leaders Association, in a press release. "The Marketplace Fairness Act will get government out of the way, restore the free market and close the loophole that has given an unfair advantage to online retailers like Amazon.com for over a decade."
Not all were enthusiastic. The conservative anti-tax group, Americans for Tax Reform, said, if enacted, the Enzi-Durbin-Alexander bill would automatically increase "taxes in many states without any taxpayer protections." The group, headed by Grover Norquist, has received pledges from many legislators, primarily Republicans, against raising taxes of any kind.
Sen. Alexander, a member of the GOP, told the Los Angeles Times, that the bill was "about closing a tax loophole."
How much will sales taxes added to online purchases affect sales made through catalogs, internet and phone?