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Senate May Vote on Internet Sales Tax Next Week

Reuters reports that the Senate is edging closer to voting on legislature that will allow states to collect sales tax from retailers physically located outside their borders.

Currently North American states are only capable of squeezing out sales tax from online merchants and affiliates with physical stores located within their borders. States also must rely on consumers to self-report purchases made with online retailers.

This gives online-only Amazon and similar services the upper hand in pricing over retail giant Walmart which seemingly builds a brick-and-mortar store every ten miles or so. However Amazon actually supports the new bill as it continues to build new distribution centers throughout the nation to improve delivery timing. eBay and many others who do business online do not.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday filed a motion in support of the measure. Because of this move, the Senate is expected to vote on Monday on whether to end the debate and move forward with the proposed measure. An actual vote on the legislation is expected to be made by the end of next week.

Backers of the measure told Reuters that the Senate has the 60 votes needed to end the current debate, and follows a successful 75-25 vote of a nonbinding version of the bill last month. Although the legislation has gained momentum, it's possible the progression will slow once it reaches the House of Representatives where some Republicans view the move as just another tax hike.

One source told Reuters that Rep. Steve Womack, one of the bill's sponsors in the House, has been lobbying fellow Republicans to support the new tax bill. Meanwhile, Republican Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, is skeptical about the measure.

"While it attempts to make tax collection simpler, it still has a long way to go," Goodlatte said.

  • fyend
    I wonder what they'll waste the money on if this passes.
  • ubercake
    This will not make brick and mortar stores more competitive. The savings for shopping online is far greater than simply that of not having to pay taxes. This shouldn't affect pricing, but now online retailers will have to collect taxes from all of us no matter which state we're in. Online Price + Taxes will still be less than Brick and Mortar Price + Taxes.

    Who loses in the end? U.S. consumers; that's who.

    Who wins? Big government. They get to tax our hard-earned dollars again.

    The retailers and e-tailers gain nothing more.

    That's our good ol' government working for us!
  • slomo4sho
    The rate at which the state and national debt is climbing, they are working diligently to squeeze every last penny out of the consumer instead of actually doing something worthwhile like cutting spending.
  • hoofhearted
    That Harry Reid is a piece of work
  • ipwn3r456
    I am already mad of online taxes on Amazon. And now this? All those crap taxes being passed, and yet no improvements has made from our government. What is it the government wants from us citizens?
  • CheesyHotDogPuff
    This better go to fixing the economy.
  • baddad
    It will kill internet sales, I know it will for me.
  • agentbb007
    If this passes I bet Best Buy's stock will go up.
  • fat_panda
    Let's close the tax loop holes before we add more taxes to already struggling consumers!
  • JeffJuice
    This is my naive/ignorant look on the situation but, much of the citizens as it is, is struggling given the economic situation. I know my family members, friends and myself are definitely feeling the pressure for quite a few years past now. Taxes only get higher prices get higher, and yes minimum wage may have increased slightly, but for those that own a business, it is a burden. Why? Because people are spending less/going out less, so all those expensive are increased, yet income continues to dwindle. Sure when you look at how quickly tech items like iphone's and the nexus 4 sell out, it makes you think otherwise, but those are just one segment of the market that is "popular", items of other normality aren't subject to such special treatment. Well to end my off topic rant, having no tax on various items that are purchasable online, be it amazon or newegg has made our economic life a little more breathable. Albeit I live in a state with amazon, but not all items are taxed. And as someone else stated, if this is a move to try and make brick and mortar stores more survivable, it won't imo as well. Because from what I have seen even with tax online stores are cheaper. This next statement is one of passing nothing to take too much to heart but, it makes one wonder what direction the governments going in .