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Facing the Facts: The American Public Opposes an Internet Sales Tax

Polling released today makes it clear that the American public doesn’t support a new Internet tax system. It’s good to see the public isn’t fooled by proponents’ efforts to cloud this issue in buzzwords and misdirection about fairness and the defense of small retailers.

The research, published by R Street and NTU makes it clear that citizens do not trust state tax authorities and regulators to develop a simple and easy to administer system. The current tax proposal to provide state auditors with the authority to tax and audit businesses in other states was rejected across the board, regardless of political affiliation, with 63 percent of Democrats, 68 percent of independents and 77 percent of Republicans opposed to the idea.

 Respondents make it clear that pro-internet sales tax candidates will have a rough time on Election Day.

Opposition is equally as strong among young people and groups that identify as heavy Internet users. And for those with an eye towards upcoming elections, respondents make it clear that pro-internet sales tax candidates will have a rough time on Election Day.

But none of this should really be surprising for those closely following the issue. While big box retailers are spending millions of dollars in lobbying and slick advertising campaigns that paint new taxes as the salvation for small businesses, Americans outside the beltway are unequivocally clear that the last thing our recovering economy needs are new, complex and burdensome tax rules.

We are hopeful that leaders in the House will soon propose a more modest and thoughtful way forward. This will be in stark contrast to the sloppy Marketplace Fairness Act rushed through the Senate without a single committee hearing.

The American people have spoken with a clear and unified voice on this issue. We hope their elected officials in Washington are listening.

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