September 17, 2018
By: Bernie Becker of Politico Morning Tax
WELL, WHAT DO WE HAVE HERE? It’s now been almost three months since the Supreme Court blew open the landscape on online sales tax, and now we’ve got a response from Congress.
A bipartisan quartet of House members led by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) rolled out new legislation on Friday, Pro Tax’s Aaron Lorenzo reports — which would, among other things, bar states from doing any collecting from out-of-state online vendors until 2019.
To be clear: In the best of circumstances, it’d be difficult for this kind of legislation to get through Congress, especially with just over three months left until a new crop of lawmakers takes over. For starters, a large group of bipartisan lawmakers supports the Supreme Court’s decision.
And while those supporters originally thought Congress might be needed for cleanup legislation, they no longer believe there’s a need for lawmakers to act. So in the end, where someone stands on how chaotic it’s been in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s Wayfair decision appears to correlate with their stance on the Sensenbrenner bill.
Opponents of the Wayfair decision believe that the aftermath has been unruly and tumultuous for businesses, leading them to embrace Sensenbrenner’s proposals — including to exempt businesses with under $10 million in sales from having to collect for other states, and to ban states from forcing retroactive collection, something that the Supreme Court endorsed as well. But supporters of the Supreme Court’s ruling argue that states have acted in a very orderly fashion, and are working to make it fairly simple for businesses to comply with the new landscape.
WELCOME BACK to a new week of Morning Tax. Your regular author has become one of those people who goes to the beach in September, and will be taking off the rest of the week. Be sure to send those tips to the rest of the team!
Today also marks 57 years since the opening of the Pittsburgh Civic Arena, the first major sports venue in the world to have a retractable roof and the backdrop for Jean-Claude Van Damme’s 1995 opus Sudden Death. (Tax angle: Built with a combination of public and private money, for around $22 million — well under $200 million in today’s dollars, far less than the current going rate for sports arenas.)
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