TPA Joins AFP-led Coalition Urging Opposition to Online Sales Tax Proposal in Utah

Michi Iljazi

February 25, 2016

Right now in Utah, there is a bipartisan effort to move forward with Internet sales tax legislation. Taxpayers Protection Alliance has fought the creation of new online sales taxes in Washington, most notably the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA), but now states are trying to replicate the foolish and economically harmful effort. Recently, TPA joined a coalition led by Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and signed a letter urging Utah lawmakers to reject the online sales tax bill (SB 65) and protect taxpayers from a massive tax increase that will damage e-commerce in the state of Utah.

Read the letter below:


January 27, 2016

Dear Utah State legislator:

On behalf of our organizations and the millions of citizens we represent, we write in strong opposition to the online sales tax proposal currently being considered in the Utah state legislature. This misguided plan (SB 65) is a nuisance reporting requirement in order to give Utah tax collectors information that they’d then use to collect use tax, and would create host of economic, logistic, and Constitutional problems.

Allowing states to assert tax authority on businesses outside their borders is also constitutionally suspect and practically unwise. It’s constitutionally suspect because the interstate commerce clause exists precisely to empower Congress to prevent such activities and because Supreme Court precedent underscores the importance of physical presence. It’s practically unwise because it would subject Utah businesses to the tax collectors of states that don’t share its generally solid conservative governance, like California, New York, and Illinois.

Despite proponents’ claim to the contrary, online sales tax would impose high costs of compliance on businesses, especially small businesses and individual sellers. Keeping constantly-changing rates, bases, and collection methodologies, would be very challenging for remote sellers, and may even prevent some from selling to Utah consumers. This is a much higher collection standard than bricks-and- mortar sellers, which are only required to collect at the rate of their physical location.

We oppose efforts to impose tax collection and reporting requirements on businesses without a physical presence in the state, including measures like SB 65 and others like it.


Sincerely,

Evelyn Everton, Utah State Director, Americans for Prosperity
Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform
Wayne Brough, PhD, Chief Economist and VP for Research FreedomWorks
Lisa Nelson, CEO, The Jeffersonian Project
Brandon Arnold, Executive Vice President, National Taxpayers Union
Andrew Moylan, Executive Director and Senior Fellow, R Street Institute
George David Banks, Executive Vice President, American Council for Capital Formation
Sean Noble, President, American Encore
Peter J. Thomas, Chairman, Americans for Constitutional Liberty
Norm Singleton, President, Campaign For Liberty
Timothy H. Lee, Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs, Center for Individual Freedom
Tom Brinkman Jr., Chairman, Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes 
Jessica Melugin, Adjunct Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute
Katie McAuliffe, Executive Director, Digital Liberty
Jonathan Haines, Director, Federalism In Action
George Landrith, President, Frontiers of Freedom
Andrew Clark, President, Generation Opportunity
Mario H. Lopez, President, Hispanic Leadership Fund
Seton Motley, President, Less Government
Daniel Garza, Executive Director, The LIBRE Initiative
David Williams, President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance
Judson Phillips, Founder, Tea Party Nation

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