Current federal legislation, called the Marketplace Fairness Act in the Senate and the Marketplace Equity Act in the House, would undermine basic taxpayer protections, create an unleveled playing field for retail businesses, and impose huge compliance burdens on Internet sellers. The bills would allow states to force retailers that aren’t located within their borders to collect state sales tax.

As a nonpartisan free-market think tank with offices in Tallahassee, as well as Washington, D.C., Texas, and Ohio, the R Street Institute is passionately concerned with ensuring that taxpayers in all states are protected from damaging tax policies.

Making online businesses jump through the hoops placed by as many as 9,600 taxing jurisdictions across the country would be expensive and unfair. When you make a purchase in your corner store, they don’t quiz you about where you live and charge you that jurisdiction’s sales tax; they collect the prevailing tax rate in that locality. Online sales should operate under the same standard.

Florida’s representatives should resist the urge to support misguided legislation like the Marketplace Fairness Act or the Marketplace Equity Act, because they create far more problems than they solve.

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