WASHINGTON D.C. - Internet shoppers may soon have to
pay sales taxes for their online purchases, but their fight is far from
The United States Senate voted in favor of the bill,
63 to 30, that impose state and local sales taxes on internet purchases. The
Senate's final vote will take place on May 6th, when some senators get back from
a week-long vacation.
Opponents hope that senators will hear from angry
constituents over the next week, but they acknowledged they have a steep hill to
climb if they want the Senate to defeat the bill. The House however may be a
different story, where some Republicans consider it a tax increase.
Democratic Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon is leading
the opponents, including other senators from states without sales taxes. Wyden
says the bill gives an advantage to foreign retailers. Other opponents say the
bill would impose complicated regulations on retailers and doesn't have enough
protections for small businesses. Businesses with less than $1 million a year in
online sales would be exempt.
Supporters say the bill is about fairness for local
businesses that already collect sales taxes and lost revenue for states.