Heartland Institute Experts Comment on Marketplace Fairness Act Amendment in Senate Budget ‘Vote-A-Rama’

Published March 22, 2013

The United States Senate today is voting on the 2014 budget proposal with a lengthy open-amendment process known in Washington as “vote-a-rama.” Among the amendments expected to be attached to the budget is one by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) that would approve the Marketplace Fairness Act, a measure that would allow states to collect sales tax on Internet purchases.

The following statements from tax experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/731-9364.

“Today’s vote shows that many so-called fiscal conservatives have decided it is better to cozy up to big business than defend small businesses from an ever-encroaching government tax regime. This is a dream proposal for big-government advocates because it lays the foundation for a whole host of new taxes in the future.

“The Mainstreet Fairness Act is not about leveling the playing field, it is about the federal government expanding states’ ability to impose taxes outside of their borders regardless of physical presence.”

John Nothdurft
Director of Government Relations
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“Passage of this bill would be another step on the road toward government encroachment into everything we do, as well as a means for states to turn retailers into tax collectors, regardless of where the retailers are located. Several states don’t even have sales taxes, but online retailers in their borders would have to start collecting sales tax for all the other states.

“Ultimately, the bill is about government control. The more money government takes from us, the more control it has over us.”

Steve Stanek
Research Fellow, Budget and Tax Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, Budget & Tax News
[email protected]

“Any time a government bill includes the word ‘fairness’ in the title, you had better hold on to your wallet. Looks like another special-interest bill promoted by intrastate businesses at the expense of out-of-state companies and the consumer. The result will be a reduction in trade and an increase in revenue going to the government. The net effects are an example of a ‘negative sum’ policy.”

John J. Bethune, Ph.D.
Policy Advisor, Economics
The Heartland Institute
Professor of Economics, Barton College
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a 29-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.