FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 12, 2011
American Homeowners Oppose New Taxes on Internet Commerce
Bruce Hahn, President of the American Homeowners Grassroots Alliance (AHGA) made the following statement upon the introduction of the Marketplace Equity Act by Representatives Steve Womack (R-AK) and Jackie Speier (D-CA). The bill would expand the collection of sales taxes on consumers/ online purchases.
“American Homeowners and other consumers overwhelmingly oppose the collection of sales taxes on their Internet purchases. A 2008 survey by Parade Magazine, asked readers: “Should Internet sales be taxed?” Based on 3,125 survey responses, 85% opposed taxing Internet sales. This legislation would require consumers to pay a sales tax on even more of the products they buy online, despite the fact that the vast majority of voters oppose any sales tax on their Internet purchases.
One of the reasons that Internet commerce continues to grow dramatically is that hard-pressed consumers in today’s economy increasingly buy more of the things they need on the Internet in order to save money. Many can only afford to buy used or refurbished products and they also save the cost of driving to the mall. This bill would increase the tax burden on those least able to afford it and would deepen the recession.
Many consumers buy the things they need on the Internet because the product selection is much greater and it saves them time. Environmentally conscious consumers also prefer to leave their car in the driveway in order to reduce automotive emissions. The products will be delivered by the U.S. postal carriers, UPS and FedEx trucks that go through our neighborhoods every day anyway. The reduced demand for gasoline will also help reduce gas prices, and this benefits everybody.
Increasing taxes in this economy is a bad idea, and state and local governments have far less objectionable alternatives if they need additional tax revenues. Public opinion polls show that taxpayers object much less to increasing sin taxes or temporary surtaxes on the wealthy if needed to plug revenue shortfalls.
AHGA urges Representatives Womack and Speier to withdraw this legislation. There are currently 56 state and local sales tax holidays in 16 states, and most states have permanent tax moratoriums on products such as prescription drugs. A far preferable option to this legislation would be for Representatives Womack and Speier to follow their lead and introduce a new bill that would create a permanent state and local sales tax moratorium on all Internet purchases.”
The American Homeowners Grassroots Alliance is a nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization dedicated to assisting the nation's 70 million homeowners understand significant policy issues affecting homeowners and homeownership, and empowering homeowners to make their voices heard by state and federal officials.