National Security

Boehner Opposes Online Sales Tax

House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) said he would probably vote no Tuesday on the online sales tax bill just passed in the U.S. Senate, which would place the largely tax-free area of Internet shopping under the jurisdiction of state sales taxes.

Boehner told Bloomberg Television the 50 different tax codes in the U.S. would make it harder for online retailers to comply with them, and it would unfairly burden small businesses:

PETER COOK: Is it something you could support?

JOHN BOEHNER: Probably not.

COOK: Why's that?

BOEHNER: Listen, I just think that moving this bill where you've got 50 different sales tax codes, it's a mess out there. What you're doing is you're going to make it much more difficult for online retailers to be able to comply with them. When this Internet sales tax moratorium went into place about 15 years ago, it was with an understanding that the states would get together and try to unify and clean up their sales tax systems. They haven't done it, so you're putting in a big burden on some very small businesses.

Others have criticized the bill for being another tax increase and opening up online retailers to audits, with Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R., N.H.) calling it a big money grab by the states.