agreement... incorporates uniform definitions of taxable online
goods and services and will establish a single tax rate for each
type of item."
Vote to Streamline Collection of Internet Sales Taxes
coalition of lawmakers and tax collectors from more than 30 states
gathered together in Chicago on November 12 to approve the final
draft of an interstate agreement to "simplify" their tax laws and
make it easier for budget-strapped legislators to collect sales
and use taxes on Internet purchases.
agreement, known as the Streamlined Sales Tax Project, incorporates
uniform definitions of taxable online goods and services and will
establish a single tax rate for each type of item. It also lays
the foundation for the states' long sought after plan to adopt an
interstate compact that would allow them to reach across state lines
and collect sales taxes on out-of-state purchases.
agreement will take effect when at least 10 participating states,
representing at least 20 percent of the population, have amended
their tax laws. However, according to a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court
decision, the states must then receive congressional approval before
implementing their online sales tax regime that would require out-of-state
retailers to collect and remit sales taxes unless the retailer has
a substantial physical presence, or "Nexus," in the state.
think that once these states have simplified their systems it will
be appropriate for the federal government to reward that effort,"
said R. Bruce Johnson, commissioner of the Utah state tax commission,
to the Washington Post. However, with many outspoken opponents
in the Republican-controlled Congress, the message to the states
may be: "Don't hold your breath."
Center for Individual Freedom, which helped spearhead the campaign
against Internet taxation in Congress, has dedicated a section of
its website to the ongoing battle against the revenue-hungry states
and brick-and-mortar retailers. To read more on the Streamlined
Sales Tax Project and other related issues, click
November 14, 2002]