Americans for Prosperity, the lobby group for limited government and low taxes, is calling for lawmakers in the House to oppose bipartisan legislation that would allow state governments to collect online sales taxes from businesses outside their borders.
In an interview with Newsmax TV, Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, called the Marketplace Fairness Act a “regulatory nightmare,” saying that taxes on Internet transactions are bad for customers who would face higher prices on products across the board.
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“It’s just a big, fat, new revenue stream to build bigger government which is not a good idea,” Phillips said.
“Whenever you give government bureaucrats another opportunity to extract money from the private sector, they start coming up with devious ways to expand it, to make it more encroaching on people’s dollars, and it’s not a good thing,” he said.
Phillips said the bill was a “misguided effort” on the part of both Republicans and Democrats.
“In the end, they’re going to be hurting a lot of just small businesses that sell maybe $1.2-$1.3 million online a year. And now they’re suddenly going to have to figure out how to comply with sales tax laws in 30 or 40 states,” he said. “It’s going to be really tough for them.”
Though the bill is expected to pass in the Senate, the group, founded by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, plans to lobby members on both sides of the aisle to oppose its passage in the House.
“There are some Republicans supporting this, which are misguided, and there are some Democrats who oppose it. So we’re going to fight very hard in the House,” Phillips vowed.
He added, “If you’re a consumer listening to this interview and you buy anything on theIinternet, think about it. It could cost you five, six, 10, 12 percent more to buy those products you’re buying online currently.”
Phillips also praised state plans to reduce or eliminate income taxes. He called Indiana Gov. Mike Pence “one of the best new governors in the country,” noting he is pushing for a 10 percent income tax. He also praised efforts in North Carolina, Louisiana and Kansas
“We’re seeing dynamic change at the state level and the movement — and we applaud this — is towards lowering income tax rates, basically taxes that penalize success at any level whether you’re making $40,000 or $140,000.”
And he accused President Barack Obama of deliberately attempting to make the cuts caused by the federal sequester as hard as possible on the public.
“It’s outrageous what President Obama’s doing. The sequester cuts are less than two cents on the dollar and yet, instead of trying to make the cuts painless for Americans, the president is systematically trying to make it hurt Americans.”
As for the next election, Phillips said Americans for Prosperity would not necessarily be backing just Republican candidates. “We want to make sure that there are candidates in both parties who are really standing up for economic freedom, less government spending, less taxation.
“And, look, Republicans need to be held accountable, too. We’ve seen that over and over and over during the Bush years. They got out of control on government spending and growing the size of government, and no one was there to hold them accountable and there are groups now that can do that.”
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