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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Nelson says yes, Rubio no as Senate passes online sales tax bill

The Senate this evening approved a bill that would allow states to collect sales tax. More here from Associated Press.

Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson joined 68 other lawmakers in favor of the bill, which still has to pass the House. Republican Sen. Marco Rubio was one of 27 to vote against it and after issued a harshly-worded statement.

“The Internet sales tax is a terrible idea that will crush small businesses with the new burden of having to collect taxes from their out-of-state consumers.  The Internet sales tax is nothing more than a money grab by tax-hungry state and local governments that are desperate for more revenue because they refuse to cut spending.

“As far as job-killing taxes go, the Internet sales tax is the worst kind because, rather than only take the hard-earned money of small businesses, it imposes more complications and burdens for businesses to comply with."

But Bill Hughes, senior vice president for government affairs for the Retail Industry Leaders Association, called it a fairness issue.

“The Senate’s overwhelmingly bipartisan passage of this legislation foreshadows the end of the special treatment of big online businesses at the expense of retailers on Main Street. After such a resounding vote in the Senate, we look forward to a constructive debate in the House to level the playing field for all retailers this year.”

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 8:28am]


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