BPC's Governors' Council Calls for Passage of Senator Enzi Amendment on Internet Sales Tax

Mar 22, 2013, 09:27 ET from Bipartisan Policy Center

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the Bipartisan Policy Center's (BPC) Governors' Council called upon the Senate to pass the Enzi Amendment to the fiscal 2014 budget resolution. This amendment would enable states to collect sales taxes from out of state e-retailers.

"We would like to commend Senator Enzi and his bipartisan group of co-sponsors:  Senators Alexander, Blunt, Cardin, Durbin, Harken, Heitkamp, Johnson (SD), Reed, Rockefeller and Whitehouse for their action.  As states continue to struggle in this harsh economic climate, this amendment offers a reasonable option to help states obtain taxes legally due them, and to do so in a deficit-neutral manner.

"Currently, states can only require stores that have a physical presence in that state to collect state sales taxes. Importantly, these taxes are already owed by consumers under existing state 'use tax' laws, but they are not being collected by the e-retailer.  With the growth in online purchasing, this has resulted in a significant loss in tax revenue for many states. According to the National Retail Federation, $24 billion in state revenues are lost annually due to purchases made via the Internet.

"In addition to the loss of state tax revenue, online purchases create an unfair advantage for stores that have only an online presence in the state and negatively affect the sales of both small brick and mortar businesses and larger retail stores. The amendment addresses this inequality by allowing states to enforce tax laws that are already in existence."

BPC's Governors' Council consists of seven former governors: Phil Bredesen (D-TN), Jim Douglas (R-VT), Brad Henry (D-OK), Linda Lingle (R-HI), Sonny Perdue (R-GA), Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Ted Strickland (D-OH).

About the Bipartisan Policy Center
Founded in 2007 by former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and George Mitchell, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) is a non-profit organization that drives principled solutions through rigorous analysis, reasoned negotiation and respectful dialogue. With projects in multiple issue areas, BPC combines politically balanced policymaking with strong, proactive advocacy and outreach.

SOURCE Bipartisan Policy Center