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Marketplace Fairness Bill May Go Straight to Vote


The Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013, introduced to lawmakers on February 14, did very well during a symbolic vote in the Senate earlier this month. Support was not unanimous, however, and one of the most vocal opponents was Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. Now Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) would like to bring Marketplace Fairness directly to the Senate floor for a vote, skipping right over Senator Baucus' committee. (The Hill).

Senator Reid filed a motion last night "to begin the process of putting the … Marketplace Fairness Act on the Senate's calendar." In the best case scenario, "[t]he bill could come up for a vote as early as next week." More likely, it will take longer; the Senate is currently debating the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013, a measure that regards gun control.

David French, a lobbyist for the National Retail Federation, called Sen. Reid's idea "a very positive sign." He believes a strong show of support in the Senate will "help build momentum in the House."

Senator Baucus, however, is sure to continue opposing the bill. "The proposal is fraught with problems and could end up costing Montana businesses big money to track thousands of different sales tax codes around the country." Since Montana does not have a general sales tax, Montana businesses are not set up to collect them. Sen Baucus told MTM News, "The answer is not to put the burden on non-sales tax states to try to collect those taxes.

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Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.