The Amazon tax battle at the national level

Those of you who’ve followed with interest North Carolina’s “Amazon tax” might be interested in an article from the latest Bloomberg Businessweek.

There’s a growing sense among state and federal lawmakers that the online sales-tax reprieve, once meant to support and nurture a fledgling industry, constitutes an advantage that Amazon, with 90 million customers and $34 billion in annual sales, no longer needs. Over the past year an escalating war over online sales taxes has spread to Texas, Connecticut, California, and dozens of other states. Later this month the battle will reach Capitol Hill. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says he plans to introduce a bill, called the Main Street Fairness Act, mandating that all businesses collect the sales tax in the state where the consumer resides.

Such measures have been proposed and disregarded by Congress for years, but Durbin believes the winds are shifting.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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