Renewed Push for Internet Sales, Access Taxes

According to this story, pressure for both sales and access taxes online is being renewed. The latest effort, really a continuation of six years of on and off effort, is being led by the National Governors Association What seems to make this latest round different is the shift to a Democrat led Congress. Pro-tax advocates feel they may be more receptive to pleas to be able to increase state and local revenues.

Opponents of online sales taxes point out the arcane and twisty nature of the various states’ tax codes. Proponents have a proposed streamlined system which even has an exemption for smaller business. I found it most curious that neither side cited issues of properly locating buyers and sellers in meat space. I guess that aspect of online regulability has pretty much been resolved and submerged.

The access tax mentioned in the article is technically orthogonal to the question of sales tax but is likely to be linked in rhetoric as well as proposed legislation. Opponents to taxing access are concerned about unintended chilling of broadband adoption and suppression of innovation. Logistically, though, I think access taxes are probably more feasible and if kept negligible may be more sustainable than sales tax.

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