After the U.S. Senate passed the Market Fairness Act, few observers expected the House to rush into action to send it to the White House. The House isn't planning on disappointing any of those observers.
A key co-sponsor of the legislation, Arkansas Republican Rep. Steve Womack, told reporters this week the House won't get to the state e-commerce tax discussion anytime soon. "Among House members, there's not an appetite—yet," Womack said, according to MarketWatch.
Opponents have painted a Scarlet T (for "tax") on the bill, arguing that it's a new tax because it's replacing a tax that no one ever bothered to pay. Therefore, the argument goes, consumers will start paying a tax that they didn't pay before so, if nothing else, it will certainly feel like a new tax to the lawbreakers who ignored the earlier law. (Why? Because this new tax will be collected by e-tailers, who will almost certainly do it, instead of the states who had no means to pursue scofflaws. In short, the new law will have teeth.)
Montana GOP Rep. Steve Daines—whose state is one of five with no sales tax—called the bill "a job-killing tax hike that hurts American small businesses."
Meanwhile, another key House player, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, is continuing to say that he wants to make unspecified changes to the bill. Asked about that, Womack replied to Goodlatte: "Tweak away."
(Editor's Note: Goodlatte's fellow Virginia Republican House member, Scott Rigell, will be discussing the bill with FierceRetail readers during a July 9 webinar, along with the NRF's chief lobbyist, Rachelle Bernstein, and Jeremiah T. Lynch, principal of the Ryan accounting firm. FierceRetail Executive Editor Evan Schuman will moderate. Please join us.)
- See MarketWatch story
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