Proponents of an online sales tax aren’t letting up in their push to move legislation through Congress this year, despite the opposition of conservative heavyweights.
Retailers have been lobbying aggressively for legislation that would help states collect sales taxes from online purchases. Joining in the effort are state and local governments and some unions, which see an opportunity to raise more revenue.
Internet retail giant Amazon has been a vocal supporter of the tax effort, whose backing has been trumpeted by lawmakers and lobbyists alike.
David French, senior vice president of government relations for the National Retail Federation (NRF), said Amazon’s support serves notice to lawmakers that serious proposals are on the table.
Still, there are long odds for an online sales tax to be passed this year. Campaign season is expected to slow down work in Congress, and opponents argue the tax proposals put forward in the House and Senate would be harmful to small business.
A number of conservative heavyweights — from Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) to Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) — have come out against the plans.