Online tax vote unlikely in this Congress

WASHINGTON, Dec. 25 (UPI) --
Congress is unlikely to vote before the current session ends in January on allowing states to tax goods sold online, an aide to Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., says.

Durbin said he will introduce the tax again in the next session.

Brick-and-mortar retailers support the Marketplace Fairness Act, which was written by Durbin and two Republicans, Mike Enzi of Wyoming and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.

"It's no secret that time is running out," said David French of the National Retail Federation, which backs an online sales tax.

An aide to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., says Baucus -- who represents a state with no sales tax -- wants the online bill as part of a comprehensive tax reform passage.

Under current federal law, states can only tax goods sold online if the sellers have stores, warehouses or other physical places of business within their borders.

Attempts to attach online sales taxes to other bills, including the Defense Authorization Act, have failed.

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