Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) this week began the process of pushing the Marketplace Fairness Act before the full Senate without making its way through the Senate Finance Committee (mostly because many of the leaders in the committee don't like the bill and would stall it), according to Politico.
The bill is an Internet tax proposal which gets its name from making the collection of sales tax the same for online purchases as it does for traditional brick and mortar retailers. Using the Rule 14 process, the legislation would bypass the tax-writing committee. Some on the committee like Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) hate this because he wants the committee to discuss the proposal as part of a larger discussion of comprehensive tax reform. Baucus has also expressed concerns with how the bill would deal with across state line taxes because every state – like his – have different tax rules.
“Sen. Baucus is discussing the issue with leadership and his colleagues on the committee. He still has the same concerns about how this will work for Montana businesses, which he expressed during debate on the floor last month. The current form of the bill still does not fully address concerns about how taxation would be addressed across state lines, especially when states have such different tax rules. It presents a huge burden for small businesses in Montana and across America,” a Senate Finance Committee aide told Politico.
The bill has already created a fiery debate even among Democrats. Earlier this year a test vote on the bill as part of this year’s budget debate, the online sales tax amendment caused a dramatic fight between supporters like Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and opponents such as Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.). The amendment was adopted, 75-24, during that debate on the nonbinding budget resolution.
A spokesman for Harry Reid's office did not respond to a request for comment on this story. An unnamed Senate Democratic aide told Politico that the Senate could vote as early as next week on the online sales tax bill.