Remember that internet sales tax? Wasn't that a great idea? It's dead

Boehner takes it out back ... two gunshots heard


A law bill that would have allowed US states to collect sales tax from stuff sold online is all but dead.

House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner has blocked a vote on the measure in the upcoming session of Congress. The move means the plan to tax internet sales will not be able to pass this session and thus would have to go back to the drawing board to be passed in a future session under a different set of congresscritters.

The Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) had been passed by the US Senate and was awaiting a hearing for passage in the House. Boehner (R-Ohio) had been among the critics of the bill, funnily enough.

The bill's backers claimed the MFA would have allowed state governments to collect sales tax revenues from companies that do online business in their states, while opponents had expressed concerns that the bill was too complicated and would give foreign retailers an advantage in the market.

Online sales were given a sales tax exemption by a 1998 law that sought to protect the then-burgeoning community of web retailers. In the years since the rise of Amazon and others, combined with shrinking state an city budgets, legislators had hoped to introduce measures to skim some of that e-moola.

Meanwhile, lawmakers are also looking to push through a bill that would make permanent a tax ban on internet access. ®

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