Stephens Media reports that U.S. Rep. Steve Womack has been rebuffed again by House Speaker John Boehner in hopes to move ahead in the final session of Congress’ current term with legislation to end exemption of on-line sales from sales tax collection. Boehner is apparently only to open to continuing a ban on taxes on access to the Internet or e-mails. Womack had hoped to combine those two ideas.
Walmart, headquarters in Womack’s district, is among those pushing the legislation. It’s meant to level the playing field with outfits such as eBay that are exempt from collecting local and state sales taxes for lack of brick-and-mortar operations in many states. (Amazon, once a beneficiary, has now joined the coalition backing Womack’s bill.) The loss of the revenue has been crippling to local governments as commerce migrates from local retailers to web-based operations.
I’m with Womack. But there’s a deep division in Republican ranks, with the ardent anti-taxers (think Grover Norquist) strongly opposed. You do wonder how they propose to pay for government services if they achieve the perfection of no taxes at all, or only taxes on those they deem taxable.