Former GOP Vice Presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) says he believes the “concept” of an Internet tax is correct but that “it’s got to be done the right way.”
In an email to The Hill, Ryan said, “I think the legitimate concern is can it be used to do other forms of taxation or retroactive taxation? You have got to make sure it doesn’t do that. I don’t think the Senate bill is written in a tight enough way to do that. So I’d like to think there’s a way to address this inequity without giving the government power to expand taxing authority beyond that intent.”
Ryan, who does not support the Senate’s version of the bill, says taxing on online purchases would help level the playing field for brick-and-mortar stores that have to collect sales taxes.
But Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) says an Internet sales tax would not increase tax fairness; rather, it would grow government while creating a job-crushing regulatory nightmare. Specifically, Cruz says an Internet sales tax would force online retailers to calculate and collect taxes for 9,600 state and local tax jurisdictions, figure out the sales tax holidays of 10,000 jurisdictions, submit monthly or quarterly tax returns to the 46 states that collect sales taxes, and collect taxes from the 565 federally recognized Indian tribes.
“So, how is this fair?” says Cruz. “After all, brick and mortar stores aren’t subjected to all these rules. And, how is it fair for a Texas business to collect taxes to support California Gov. Jerry Brown’s big spending?…Make no mistake: Big business supports this bill because it will drive smaller competitors off the Internet and out of business.”
Online retail giants Amazon and Walmart support an Internet sales tax.