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Hope for Internet Sales Collection Grows

ICMA and its sister organizations have long advocated that the law be changed to allow sales taxes to be collected regardless of the way an item is purchased.

 The Senate has bipartisan support to pass a “Marketplace Fairness” Bill this year, according to Wyoming Senator Michael Enzi. Speaking at the National League of Cities Congressional Cities Conference on March 13, Senator Enzi urged local officials to call, e-mail, or visit their Congressional representatives to press for support.

Since Amazon has joined main street merchants in supporting legislation to require the collection of sales taxes for purchases made via the Internet, this may be the year when Congress acts.

Stressing that states can choose whether or not they wish to collect these taxes, Senator Enzi reminded attendees that in the 1992 Supreme Court decision (Quill v. North Dakota), the majority stated that Congress had the power to fix the law. The Quill case was about mail order purchases and only required companies to collect sales taxes if the company had a physical presence in the state.

Since then many states have stepped up efforts to collect the sales taxes owed. ICMA and its sister organizations have long advocated that the law be changed to allow sales taxes to be collected regardless of the way an item is purchased.

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