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Congressmen Debate The Marketplace Fairness Act

The fight over the Marketplace Fairness Act is heating up again in congress. The story about why it is heating up is typical politics from the past 6 years.

It starts with the Internet Tax Freedom Act that is set to expire on November 1, which happens to be just 3 days before the mid-term elections.  Representatives and Senators up for re-election would like to see an extension on that moratorium through the rest of 2014 long before that.  In fact, a vote on that could come as soon as next week, or possibly right after lawmakers take their August break.

So, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin from Illinois is seizing the opportunity to attach the Marketplace Fairness Act to the moratorium vote.  Durbin is a strong supporter of the Marketplace Fairness Act, which allows states to collect sales tax money on purchases made over the Internet.  NAED is one of dozens of associations and companies that also strongly supports the Marketplace Fairness Act.

Both Senator Durbin and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada have said the two measures will be attached.   The House passed the Tax Freedom Act last week, but does not have the votes to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act.

Republican leaders are against the Marketplace Fairness Act, calling it a tax and they promised voters they would not raise any taxes if elected. House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia has held hearings on it, but still believes the Act needs to be more focused before he is willing to move it out of his committee.

That sets up yet another showdown between the Democratic majority in the Senate and the Republican majority in the House. Since the House approved the temporary extension, the Senate upped the stakes by making it a 10 year extension. 

“No long-term extension of ITFA will occur without MFA because it’s important to keep the Internet tax-free and protect local jobs,” the Marketplace Fairness Coalition said.

However, Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden or Oregon is an opponent of the Marketplace Fairness Act.  Oregon does not have a state sales tax, and he believes the Act will place burdens on Internet retailers that brick and mortar stores in his state will not face.

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