Congress is set to play the roll of Scrooge yet again this year, as a showdown over Internet sales taxes is set for mid-December.
As Norm Singleton wrote earlier in September, the Continuing Resolution (CR) passed by the House GOP actually greased the tracks to make it easier for the so-called "Marketplace Fairness Act," or the National Internet Tax Mandate, as we call it, to pass.
By only extending the Internet Tax Freedom Act (a moratorium preventing local and state governments from taxing Internet access) until mid-December, it either unwittingly, or deliberately, setup a showdown over the National Internet Tax Mandate by allowing the Senate to hold the ITFA hostage.
The Hill reports that Senate proponents of this legislation believe ITFA is the best chance they have for passage of a bill they know could not make it through the normal legislative process of both chambers.
To be clear, the only reason the "Marketplace Fairness Act" passed the Senate in 2013 was because Reid circumvented regular order by using Rule XIV to bypass the committee of jurisdiction, at that time chaired by Max Baucus, a longtime opponent of the National Internet Tax Mandate.
Now that Baucus has left the Senate, Ron Wyden is chair of the committee of jurisdiction, and is ardently opposed to the passage of the National Internet Tax Mandate.
The Hill quotes Wyden as saying, “Anyone who votes for passing MFA alongside ITFA is voting to repeal the Internet Tax Freedom Act.”
Proponents of the National Internet Tax Mandate claim this is not a new tax since individuals already often owe "use taxes" that regularly go uncollected, or unenforced, since it's self-reported.
C4L strongly disagrees with that sentiment, as sales and use taxes are two distinct and separate forms of taxation.
Rather, we'd agree with Rep. Thomas Massie, who in 2013 said at a press conference, “Some say ‘it’s not a tax increase.’ Well if this bill passes, at the end of a transaction there will be less money in the pocket of the consumer and more in the government coffers, that’s a tax increase.”
So will the Lame Duck Congress tax the net?
They're certainly going to try, and it's up to you and I to stop them.
Please, take a moment to call your representative and senators today to urge them to oppose any attempt to attach the so-called "Marketplace Fairness Act," to the Internet Tax Freedom Act. Be sure to tell them, any vote to attach the two is a vote for taxing the net.
Public pressure can have a tremendous impact, but this fight was setup in the Lame Duck for a reason -- most Americans won't be paying attention.
So will you be paying more in taxes in future Holiday seasons?
The choice is yours, please take action today against the so-called "Marketplace Fairness Act."
Tell Congress: Don't Tax the Net!