A proposed Internet sales tax bill, which would have given states the ability charge purchases made on out-of-state websites, is dead, thanks to U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner.
A bipartisan bill, backed by the National Retail Federation, passed in the Senate last year 69-27, according to the RollCall.com blog
. The Marketplace Fairness Act — led by Sens. Richard J. Durbin, D-Illinois, and Michael B. Enzi, R-Wyoming — was meant to address brick and mortar stores' complaints that they are on an uneven playing field with Internet outlets.
But the bill, which had the support of the Obama administration, made no headway in the House and now Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith is saying it will not move at all during the lame duck period.
"The speaker has made clear in the past he has significant concerns about the bill, and it won't move forward this year," Smith said this week, according to RollCall.com. "The Judiciary Committee continues to examine the measure and the broader issue. In the meantime, the House and Senate should work together to extend the moratorium on Internet taxation without further delay."
Generation Opportunity, a libertarian group targeting millennials
, praised Boehner for his decision to kill, or at least slow down, the tax bill until other alternatives pop up.
"Coming off of last week's wave of victories for economic freedom, this is another great step toward creating a better future for our generation," the group said in a statement. "The Internet sales tax is Washington at its worst: a measure pushed by corporate lobbyists that would disproportionately harm millennials, who do much of their shopping online and use the web to create their own jobs."
Jason Brewer, vice president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association — a coalition of big-box stores — told The Wall Street Journal that supporters
of the measure are not giving up.
"[Boehner's] comments were frustrating for those of us in the business community that has been working in good faith with House leadership," Brewer told The Journal. "Regardless, it doesn't change the Senate dynamics, where a clear bipartisan majority wants [the two issues] solved together."
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