U.S. Senate Passes Internet Sales Tax Bill. House Vote Up Next

Yesterday a major news came from the Capitol Hill: the U.S. Senate has passed the Marketplace Fairness Act.

The Washington Post reported:

United States SenateThe Senate passed the bill by a vote of 69 to 27, getting support from Republicans and Democrats alike. But opposition from some conservatives who view it as a tax increase will make it a tougher sell in the House. President Barack Obama has conveyed his support for the measure.

…Supporters say the current tax disparity is turning some traditional stores into showrooms, where shoppers pick out items they like, then buy them on the Internet to avoid sales taxes [more here]

The next step is for the U.S. House of Representatives to vote on the bill. And the issue at stake is bigger than the problem of showrooming. While U.S.News & World Report believes it to be a “tough sell in the House” [source] close to a hundred thousand of affiliate marketing businesses — who due to numerous “affiliate nexus” state taxes have been caught in the crossfire, and used by many as cannon fodder — are anxious to see the Marketplace Fairness Act accepted.

The Performance Marketing Association writes about yesterday’s news from The Hill:

This is the first and critical step in reversing the devastation caused by the passage of unconstitutional ‘Affiliate Nexus Tax’ laws passed by 9 states. These state laws have wiped out 76,000 small Internet advertising businesses since 2008, devastating one of the fastest growing technology sectors in the US.

…The PMA looks forward to the US House of Representatives picking up the bill and passing it quickly. [more here]

As I have underscored in a recent SmallBizTrends interview on the topic, having such federal-level legislation is important for the affiliate marketing industry, because it would “eliminate the notion of (and need for) the affiliate nexus tax altogether by leveling the playing field not only between brick and mortar stores and online businesses (when catering to residents of the same state), but also between online businesses regardless of whether they drive sales through affiliates or not.”

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