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A majority of businesses participating in a state survey say they favor the Marketplace Fairness Act.
Sunday, June 2, 2013
Virginia’s U.S. House delegation didn’t rate a mention in a recent poll asking a group of prominent business leaders to pick the commonwealth’s most popular politician (Mark Warner) and its most effective (Bob McDonnell) from among 16 names.
Still, the response to a third question on the Virginia Insiders Poll, conducted for the Virginia FREE business coalition, should interest 6th District Rep. Bob Goodlatte.
Pollsters asked the state’s business leaders if they support the Marketplace Fairness Act. They do.
Of 112 who responded to the survey, 72 percent said they favor the legislation, with 43 percent strongly in favor. At the other end of the scale, 6 percent said they are strongly opposed.
The Senate passed a Marketplace Fairness bill last month and sent it on to the House. It has landed in Goodlatte’s Judiciary Committee, where a House version has been languishing in subcommittee. As committee chairman, the Roanoke County Republican will have a great deal to do with the legislation’s fate. And he has made it clear he isn’t satisfied with the Senate bill.
If the House were to pass it, President Obama has said he will sign it into law, giving states like Virginia authority to collect sales taxes on out-of-state sales by online and catalog companies. Bricks-and-mortar retailers and e-tailers like Amazon, which already must collect the tax because it has a physical presence in the commonwealth, support Marketplace Fairness. They are seeking equity.
Out-of-state businesses who don’t collect the tax gain a price advantage over competitors. These mainly small businesses have their own worries, though, about collecting taxes for myriad states and localities with differing rates. They are seeking simplicity.
States like Virginia are seeking tax revenue. Not from a new tax, but revenue that is due and isn’t being collected at the point of sale — and is almost never paid.
Gov. McDonnell included this anticipated money in working his historic transportation revenue deal — an achievement that had eluded governors for decades. It surely is the reason business leaders rate him the commonwealth’s most effective politician, something Goodlatte might hope to match.
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