Alexander Joins With Tennessee Small Business Owners to Urge Closing of Online Sales Tax Loophole

Introduces Donnie Eatherly, owner of a Nashville-area performance auto-parts retailer, at news conference with small business owners

Posted on November 16, 2011

WASHINGTON – At an event today with several small-business owners from Tennessee (Video HERE), U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said the legislation he has introduced with Senators Mike Enzi (R-Wy.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) to close the online sales-tax loophole has “solved the problem” of collecting sales tax from out-of-state businesses, and he encouraged small-business owners “to rise up and support it.” Alexander introduced Donnie Eatherly, the owner of P&E Distributors, an auto-parts business based in the Nashville area, who spoke at the event.

Alexander said: “Twenty years ago the Supreme Court said states couldn’t require the online sellers and the out-of-state sellers to do the same thing they required the boot store in Nashville to do because it was too complicated and burdened interstate commerce. I believe that the Enzi-Durbin bill solves the problem, and this is going to happen.” 

He continued: “This is not a new tax—this is a tax that is already owed. Republicans believe in states’ rights, Republicans believe in closing loopholes, Republicans are against preferring one taxpayer over another, or one business over another. In our state, everybody’s against a state income tax, so this legislation is true to all of those principles. Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, it’s the fair thing to do.”

Under the current tax loophole, while brick-and-mortar retailers collect sales taxes from customers who make purchases in their stores, many online and catalog retailers do not collect the same taxes. Under the Marketplace Fairness Act, states would have the option to collect or not to collect the sales and use tax revenues from out-of-state sellers. The legislation would provide two options by which states could begin collecting sales taxes from online and catalog purchases.

Click here for more information on the bill.

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