Boehner: Internet Sales Tax Bill Likely DOA


boehnerHouse Speaker John Boehner said he “probably” won’t support legislation to let states require out-of-state Internet retailers to collect sales taxes, saying it would be too cumbersome to implement.

“Moving this bill where you’ve got 50 different sales tax codes, it’s a mess out there,” Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said in a Bloomberg Television interview today in Washington. “You’re going to make it much more difficult for online retailers to be able to comply.”

The Senate passed the bill May 6 in a bipartisan vote of 69-27, with support from 21 Republicans. Asked whether he could back it, Boehner said, “probably not.”

A lack of support from the speaker emphasizes the difficulty the measure will have winning House passage, especially in its current form. The House Judiciary Committee will consider the Senate bill, Boehner said.

“We’ll see what they think,” he said. “You’re putting in a big burden on some very small businesses.”

The measure is backed by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other retailers that say it’s unfair to allow many sales made over the Internet or through catalogs to be untaxed. States lose an estimated $23 billion annually in forgone revenue from uncollected sales taxes.

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