2014

New Poll Shows Dislike of Internet Sales Tax across Demographic, Partisan Lines

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new survey commissioned by National Taxpayers Union (NTU) and the R Street Institute finds that the American people overwhelmingly oppose new legislation (like the Marketplace Fairness Act, or MFA) that lets states force tax collection obligations on Internet purchases made from businesses outside their borders.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101022/NTULOGO)

The Mercury poll surveyed 1,000 likely voters and broadly confirmed results of a separate Gallup survey taken a month earlier: Mercury reported that by a 57%-35% margin, Americans opposed changes to Internet sales tax policies like those provided in the Marketplace Fairness Act. A further examination of different political and demographic groups revealed universal concern about MFA and Internet sales taxes:

  • Self-identified Republicans and conservatives disliked MFA by 2 to 1 margins.
  • Independents opposed MFA 56%-37%, Democrats 48%-43%, split ticket voters by 58%-36%.
  • When respondents were informed "the proposed legislation would allow tax enforcement agents from one state to collect taxes from online retailers based in a different state," and that it would entail new tax collection obligations for businesses, the margins against it swung to 70% and 69%, respectively.
  • When confronted with the best arguments in favor of the legislation and against it, more than 60 percent of respondents supported the anti-MFA arguments.

In a separate sample of 700 likely Republican primary voters, the poll asked respondents to choose which candidate they would vote for: A, who supported an MFA-type sales tax collection approach or B, who worked against tax increases on the Internet. By a whopping 70%-16% proportion, Candidate B won – thus revealing that supporting MFA is a dangerous vulnerability for Republicans facing a GOP primary.

"The overwhelming results of our survey send an unmistakable message: nobody likes this federal Internet sales tax scheme," said NTU Executive Vice President Pete Sepp. "Not to be lost in these intriguing results is the opportunity for fiscal conservatives to reach out to swing groups like young voters, women, and independents."

"The American people have made themselves perfectly clear: they do not want Congress to give states the ability to tax across their borders via the Internet," said R Street Institute's Andrew Moylan. "This survey should serve as a cautionary tale to anyone who is considering supporting the disastrous online sales tax. The only question is, will Congress listen?"

NTU is a grassroots taxpayer advocacy organization that supports limited government. R Street Institute is a free-market think tank based in Washington, D.C.  Note: Full poll results are available online at http://www.ntu.org/news-and-issues/telecom/internet-sales-tax-is-congress-listening.pdf.

SOURCE National Taxpayers Union



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