Attention Internet ShoppersIn The Hill today:
The Senate passed the bipartisan Marketplace Fairness Act by a 69 to 27 vote on Monday, with most Democrats — except for five who represent states without a sales tax — backing the bill.Senate Republicans split roughly down the middle — 21 for, and 22 against — on the proposal. The breakdown underscores that the measure likely faces a rockier path in the GOP-controlled House.Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) outlined why all supporters of free markets and low taxes should oppose this bill. Among other reasons:
Naturally, state and local governments are salivating at the prospect of getting a purported $23 billion in new revenue from the private economy. Especially when the out-of-state consumers paying those taxes and the out-of-state businesses owners who collect them can’t vote them out of office.
Last but not least, this bill doesn’t pass constitutional muster. The MFA overturns the fundamental idea that states’ taxing authority ends at their borders. The Supreme Court has said that an out-of-state business could subject itself to a state’s taxing power if due-process concerns are satisfied, namely that the business purposefully targets its activities in that state. But because pure Internet sales by their nature don’t target any one state, this legislation presents a serious constitutional problem.
In addition to the ... reasons cited above, the bill would make bad law because it would be a bureaucratic nightmare. . . :
[Lawmakers] who vote for it are voting to impose audits, compliance costs, lost wages, and inefficiency on small businesses in every state. And they are potentially crippling an engine of new job creation at a time of economic struggle. This bill will not create jobs; it will not create new opportunities; and it will not create the economic growth our country needs and our people deserve.
Now that this bad bill has passed the Senate, we'll have to double down on the House as soon as it gets on the calendar.