A conservative Republican claims a plan that will allow states to tax online retailers is “taxation without representation” and that it will punish internet entrepreneurs.
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) made the comments in the Wall Street Journal to oppose the Marketplace Fairness Act, a bill intended to curb the advantage that sellers like Amazon (s amzn) (whose large online sales led to the bill in the first place) and eBay (s ebay) have over traditional shops. Right now, the online retailers can sell cheaper because they don’t have to collect sales tax in states where they don’t have a physical presence.
The “fairness” argument appears logical and enjoys bipartisan support, but DeMint argues that it could lead to companies having to engage with thousands of state and municipal taxing authorities. He raises the example of a small business in South Carolina facing simultaneous audits from California, New Jersey and Hawaii:
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