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With the enormous growth in Internet retail sales, U.S. policymakers are considering the Marketplace Fairness Act, a bill sponsored by Senator Mike Enzi (WY) that would authorize states to require remote sellers to collect state sales tax. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1992 (Quill Corp. v. North Dakota) that states could not require remote sellers to collect and remit sales and use taxes in states where they have no “nexus,” but the Court also said that Congress could grant such power to the states. The issue has split conservative groups, with some arguing that the Quill decision rightly employed the dormant commerce clause to prohibit states from requiring remote sellers to collect, and other conservatives arguing that the Quill decision simply referred the issue to Congress and that Congress should act to prevent federal policy from picking winners and losers in the marketplace. Last month in a non-binding test vote, the Senate voted 75 to 24 in support of Sen. Enzi’s Marketplace Fairness Act. If enacted, Sen. Enzi’s bill would require participating states to implement a system for tax collection, either by adopting minimum simplification requirements or being a Member State of the Streamlined Sales and Use TaxAgreement. On this previously recorded live conference call, Paul Misener, Amazon.com’s VP for Global Public Policy, and Joseph Henchman, VP for Legal and State Projects at the Tax Foundation, discuss whether Congress should act, and if so, how.
- Mr. Joseph Henchman, Vice President of Legal & State Project, Tax Foundation
- Mr. Paul Misener, Vice President for Global Public Policy, Amazon.com
- Moderator: Mr. Dean A. Reuter, Vice President & Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society