Apr 24 2013

Senator Blunt Co-Sponsors Amendment To Protect Consumers, Prevent Any New Taxes On Internet Use

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Mark Pryor (Ark.) introduced a bipartisan amendment to the Marketplace Fairness Act today that will continue to protect Americans from any taxes on Internet use and ensure fairness for online retailers and consumers. Blunt serves as a member of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet. Pryor serves as the Subcommittee’s Chairman.

“This is an important amendment to extend current law, which protects Americans from any taxes on Internet use. Online commerce is the way of the future and is critical to growing private sector jobs, and we shouldn’t ever do anything to inhibit online sales,” said Blunt, a member of the Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Internet, and Technology. “The Marketplace Fairness Act does not create a new tax, and it does not tax consumers’ internet usage – which I strongly oppose. The amendment I’m co-sponsoring with Senator Pryor is an extra step to prevent any new taxes on access to the Internet, protect consumers from double taxation by multiple states on a single transaction, and ensure that online retailers are not unfairly subjected to higher taxes than main street businesses.”

“From healthcare services to small business interactions, Americans rely on Internet access and services to stay connected. Congress needs to support Internet growth, not stifle it with taxes,” said Pryor. “Our amendment would extend current law to ensure businesses and every day citizens have reliable and affordable Internet access.”

In 2007, Congress unanimously passed the Internet Tax Freedom Act to prohibit states and localities from imposing new taxes on Internet access through services like cable, satellite, and DSL. Unfortunately, this provision is set to expire on November 1, 2014.  The Pryor/Blunt amendment would extend this moratorium for 10 years, and would prevent double taxation by multiple states on a single transaction.

Blunt is a co-sponsor of the Marketplace Fairness Act, which levels the playing field for Main Street retailers and allows states to collect sales taxes that they are already owed from out-of-state and online businesses. The bill provides states with the option to collect sales taxes they are owed from online retailers and out-of-state businesses through a new, simplified tax system. Current law requires individuals to pay these taxes when they file each year; however, most taxpayers do not. The bill includes an exemption for online sellers who generate $1,000,000 or less in annual gross receipts.

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