No Net Tax

Conservatives Oppose the
So-Called Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Elected Officials

 

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Real Clear Politics Editorial (5/5/2013)

 “The Internet is a thriving ecosystem of entrepreneurial freedom that should be protected and nourished. It has allowed new businesses to compete in the national marketplace in ways that would have been impossible 15 years ago, and it empowers consumer choice. But tax-hungry politicians view the Internet as yet another source of revenue to bail out their big-spending governments. The misleadingly titled Marketplace Fairness Act is a job-killing tax hike, plain and simple. It is, in effect, a national Internet sales tax, which would hammer the little guy and benefit giant corporations.”

 

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Remarks on Senate Floor (4/23/2013)

“By imposing this new Internet Tax, states would suddenly be empowered to force online retailers to simultaneously comply with all the different tax codes of all the states in which their customers reside. That’s no small feat. From what I’m told, there are nearly 10,000 state, local, and municipal tax codes nationwide. And while complying with so many codes might not be a big deal for large online retailers, it’s a huge burden on the little guys.”


Senator Kelly Ayote (R-NH), The Hill (4/19/2013)

“Supporters of this online sales tax bill are trying to muscle it through before senators find out how disastrous it would be for businesses in their states…I will fight this power grab every step of the way to protect small online businesses in New Hampshire and across the nation.”

 

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), Washington Times Editorial (4/19/2013)

“The Republican Party is supposed to oppose tax increases and burdensome, unnecessary government regulations. But sometimes, they lose their way.

“The most recent example is support by some Republicans for the misnamed Marketplace Fairness Act, which should really be called the Internet Tax Mandate. This mandate is nothing more than a huge tax increase on the American people backed by lobbyists and some state governments. I must admit, I am disappointed that some in my party are backing this ill-advised bill.

“The Internet Tax Mandate would allow states to force private companies to impose a sales tax on online purchases. Rather than reform and prioritize their state budgets, governors are looking to the federal government to take more money out of the wallets of their state’s hardworking citizens. Americans are already struggling as a result of higher federal taxes, but some seek to soak the taxpayer at the state level as well.”

 

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Remarks on Senate Floor (4/18/2013) 

“Despite the good intentions of those backing this bill, it just isn’t ready yet. Bringing legislation of such far-reaching consequences to the floor of the Senate when the Finance Committee hasn’t even held a hearing or a markup on it isn’t the way we should be doing business around here.  I’ve heard concerns from Senators on both sides of this issue that we need more time and this bill needs greater scrutiny before moving ahead.  One thing is certain, however, this legislation must be subject to a thorough open debate and amendment process.”

 

Congressman Tom Graves (R-GA), GAPundit 

“I’m opposed to the internet sales tax. Call me a conservative, but I believe the right approach to tax fairness is to reduce rates—not force higher rates onto others. States that want their businesses to be more competitive in the marketplace should engage in a race to the lowest tax rate rather than seek to level the playing field by imposing higher taxes and new burdens on competitors and consumers. The Senate legislation would throw a classic Washington wet blanket on the brightest frontier of our economy, the Internet.”

 

Former U.S. Representative Ron Paul (R-TX), Business Insider Editorial (5/1/2013)

“Raising prices on goods purchased over the Internet will also impose an additional hardship on American consumers, many of whom are already struggling because of the troubled economy.  And giving ravenous state governments new authority to tax sales made by out-of-state businesses practically guarantees future sales tax hikes, as the arguments will be made that most of the increases will fall on out-of-state businesses.  These businesses will lack effective ability to oppose the tax increases — a form of taxation without representation.”

 

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), YouTube 

“This is nothing but a money grab. This is nothing but State’s wanting billion dollars in new revenue because they don’t want to cut spending and they don’t have the political courage to raise taxes which in my opinion is a bad idea...It is a disaster. If this passes the people who vote for it will regret the day they do.”

 

Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA), Times Leader 

“I voted against the Marketplace Fairness Act … because I’m troubled that many difficult issues relating to this policy have not been addressed. I understand the concerns that many retailers in my state have raised about online sales. I have also heard the concerns of online retailers who would be subject to the thousands of tax jurisdictions across the country.”

 

Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), Tulsa World 

“I am also concerned this bill would add layers of red tape and regulations onto online businesses of all sizes, which in turn would hurt consumers, entrepreneurs, and future economic growth.”

 

Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

”Too much of a burden on online retailers”

 

Senator Tim Scott (R-SC)

Voted Against the Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ)

Voted Against the Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID)

Voted Against the Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Senator Jim Risch (R-ID)

Voted Against the Marketplace Fairness Act

 

The Hon. Jim DeMint, Wall Street-Journal 

Former US Senator

South Carolina

“At its core, this is a nationally mandated Internet sales tax on businesses. Once a single state demands these sales tax collections under the new law, businesses in every other state would be forced to comply with that state's tax laws. Dozens of states are eagerly waiting to raise those taxes, as soon as Washington opens the floodgates.”

 

David McIntosh

Former Member of Congress

Indiana

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

The Hon. George Allen

Former Governor and US Senator

Virginia

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Conservative Groups/Think Tanks/Tea Party

 

Grover Norquist

President

Americans for Tax Reform

“I write to you on behalf of Americans for Tax Reform in opposition to enactment of Internet and remote sales tax collection legislation. While achieving “fairness” may be a laudable goal, it cannot be an excuse for increasing the burden on taxpayers. We believe that there are a number of problems with the Marketplace Fairness Act - most importantly, the bill would force customers to pay more in taxes.” Letter

 

The Heartland Institute

“Removing the physical presence standard for sales taxes also reduces states’ accountability to taxpayers. Consumers, who ultimately bear the burden of added costs, are the real losers in this scenario. The “nexus” standard is an important taxpayer protection that has been upheld in the U.S. Supreme Court. This standard protects citizens from an abuse that Americans have fought against since our nation’s inception: taxation without representation.” Research & Commentary

 

Heritage Action for America

“Heritage Action opposes the so-called Marketplace Fairness Act and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.” Key Vote

 

National Taxpayers Union

“This is a dangerous expansion of tax collection authority that would hinder tax competition among states, heap heavy burdens upon small businesses, and expose taxpayers to potentially predatory state revenue administration tactics. This vote will be heavily weighted.” Key Vote

 

FreedomWorks

“I urge you to call your U.S. Senators and ask them to vote NO on the Marketplace Fairness Act, H.R. 743.  We will count the vote on this amendment as a KEY VOTE when calculating the FreedomWorks Economic Freedom Scorecard for 2013.” Key Vote

 

Americans for Prosperity

“I urge you to vote NO on S. 743, the Marketplace Fairness Act., the flawed internet sales tax bill. Americans for Prosperity will include this vote in our congressional scorecard.” Key Vote

 

Competitive Enterprise Institute

“Every American should be concerned about state tax collectors reaching over their borders to impose tax law on businesses of other states—who have no political voice in that regime, do not benefit from the services those taxes fund and have little, if any, recourse against these tax officials.” Policy Study

 

Campaign for Liberty

“The fight is not over. Campaign for Liberty will continue our aggressive grassroots campaign to fight the Internet Tax Mandate in the House. We will hold any and all Representatives accountable for supporting tax-hiking legislation.” Press Release

 

Institute For Policy Innovation

“False federalism has been on parade recently during the several debates related to taxes and the Internet, including during the debate on the Marketplace Fairness Act. The spectacle reached a crescendo when self-proclaimed conservative after conservative waded into the fray of the recent House hearing arguing that states' rights is the power to tax out-of-state residents, as opposed to the power of the individual states to protect their citizens from other governments.” IPI Roundtable

 

Taxpayers Protection Alliance

“The bill would create a decidedly “unlevel” playing field between brick-and-mortar and online sales. Brick-and-mortar sales across the country are governed by a simple rule that allows the business to collect sales tax based on its physical location, not that of the item’s buyer.” Blog

 

R Street

“By wiping away geographic limits to state tax authority, the bill would impose serious burdens on Internet retail and undermine basic tax policy principles. It is now up to conservative leaders in the House of Representatives to stop this bad legislation in its tracks.

“The Senate got it wrong on the Marketplace Fairness Act, but the House has both the membership and the process to get it right. R Street will help them do that by protecting conservative principles and advancing realistic solutions.” Press Release

 

Mercatus Center

“Requiring out-of-state vendors to collect sales taxes on behalf of jurisdictions where they have no physical presence remains unfair and unconstitutional, especially when there are other ways states could promote fairness. One way to level the playing field would be to cut or eliminate sales taxes on in-state vendors. Another alternative would be a national Internet sales tax that would avoid the complexity problem by imposing a single rate and set of definitions on all vendors. But that solution opens the door to a new federal tax base, which would grow to be burdensome in other ways at a time when American consumers and companies are already over-taxed.”  Mercatus on Policy No. 98

 

Seton Motely

President

Less Government

“This is taxation without representation on stilts. The Marketplace Fairness Act would allow nearly 10,000 governments to abuse businesses – with no recourse for businesses. Because they don’t live in the relevant jurisdictions and can’t vote to oust the abusers. Governments need to stop looking for ever more revenue streams – and instead just stop spending.” Press Release

 

Timothy H. Lee

Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs

Center for Individual Freedom

“The proposed bill is anything but 'fair,' and it is both economically destructive and contrary to the logic of federalism.” Article

 

Phil Kerpen

President

American Commitment

Signed a Letter Opposing the Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Paul Gessing

President

Rio Grande Foundation

Signed a Letter Opposing the Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Andrew F. Quinlan

President

Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Signed a Letter Opposing the Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Brent Bozell

Chairman

For America

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Tom Schatz

President

CCAGW

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

David Bossie

President

Citizens United

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Phyllis Schlafly

President

Eagle Forum

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Heather Higgins

President

Independent Women’s Voice

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

The Hon. Jim Ryun

Chairman

The Madison Project

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Bob Reccord

Executive Director

Council for National Policy

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

The Hon. Ken Blackwell

President

Constitutional Congress, Inc.

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Gary Aldrich

Chairman

CNP Action, Inc.

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Chris Littleton

President

Ohio Rising

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Katie McAuliffe

Executive Director

Digital Liberty

 

C. Preston Noell III

President

Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Christopher Malagisi

President

Young Conservatives Coalition

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

J. Michael Smith, Esq.

President

HSLDA

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Fergus Cullen

Executive Director

Yankee Institute for Public Policy

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Maurice Thompson

President

1851 Center for Constitutional Law

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

David Y. Denholm

President

Public Service Research Council

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Matt A. Mayer

President

Opportunity Ohio

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Elaine Donnelly

President

Center for Military Readiness

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Darian Rafie

Vice President

ActRight

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Susan Carleson

President

American Civil Rights Union

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

John Dodd

President

Jesse Helms Center Foundation

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Mike Stenhouse

CEO

RI Cntr. for Freedom & Prosperity

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Craig Shirley

Chairman

Citizens for the Republic

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Richard Viguerie

Chairman

ConservativeHQ.com

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

J. Thomas

Chairman

The Conservative Caucus, Inc.

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Lew Uhler

President

National Tax Limitation Committee

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Mathew D. Staver

Founder & Chairman

Liberty Counsel

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Joe Balyeat

Montana State Director

Americans for Prosperity

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Karen Kerrigan

President & CEO

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Jenny Beth Martin

Co-Founder

Tea Party Patriots

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Journalists

 

Erick Erickson

Founder of RedState.com and FoxNews contributor 

 “One day I will have a scorecard for conservatives. And those Republicans who vote for the Marketplace Fairness Act in any form will be blackballed from that scorecard.” RedState

 

Jeff Jacoby

Columnist

Boston Globe

“If truth-in-labeling rules applied to Congress, the proposed law giving states the power to collect sales tax from out-of-state online retailers would be named the Marketplace Unfairness Act.

“Sponsored by Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi and fast-tracked to the Senate floor . . . , the legislation would strip away protections that have been in place for decades, unleashing tax-hungry states on merchants to whom they aren’t answerable and tilting the playing field against small Internet retailers.” (Jeff Jacoby, "Everything to Fear in Internet Sales Tax," Boston Globe, 4/24/13.)

 

George Will

Columnist

Washington Post

“In a burst of the bipartisanship we are told to revere, a coalition of Republican and Democratic senators rose above party differences last week to affirm class solidarity. They moved toward a tax increase of at least $22 billion to benefit the political class at the state and local levels. Because [U.S. Senator Max] Baucus, D-Mont.] opposes the legislation to enrich state and local governments by subjecting Internet commerce to state and local sales taxes, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) brought it directly to the floor, bypassing the Finance Committee. One reason the Republican-controlled House should reject this tax increase is that much of the revenue will be passed on to public employees and, through their unions, to Democrats’ campaigns. (George Will, "Courts and Congress give Obama adult supervision," 4/29/13.)

 

Al Regnery 

Former Publisher

American Spectator

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Rebecca Hagelin

Columnist

The Washington Times

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Ralph Benko

Contributor

Forbes.com

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Economists/Experts

 

Becky Norton Dunlop

Former White House Advisor

President Ronald Reagan

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

The Hon. Ken Cribb

Former Domestic Advisor

President Ronald Reagan

Signed a Letter Opposing Marketplace Fairness Act

 

Peter Ferrara

White House Office of Policy Development under President Reagan, and as Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States under President George H.W. Bush.

“Internet sales taxes would be a modern form of taxation without representation. Remember, the American people once fought a Revolution against that. We don’t want the 50 states engaging in protectionist mercantilism against each other. The founders saw how unworkable that was under the Articles of Confederation that preceded the Constitution. The free and open national market established by the Constitution has been central to world-leading American prosperity ever since.” Forbes.com

 

Scott Shane,

Professor of entrepreneurial studies

Case Western Reserve University

“If the new law kept states from raising income taxes, which are more economically distorting than sales taxes, an internet sales tax might be worthwhile. But the proposed legislation does nothing to preclude state governments from charging higher income tax rates even after they collect the added internet sales tax. In other words, this is just a recipe for Americans to pay higher taxes.” (Scott Shane, "Why Internet Sales Tax is Bad Public Policy," Entrepreneur magazine, 4/30/13.)