Young Americans Oppose Internet Sales Tax

In a recent Gallup poll, the majority of Americans (57%) say they would vote against a law that would allow each state to collect sales taxes on purchases its residents make online over the Internet. Young adults (73%) voice the most widespread opposition to such a law.

The Senate passed an Internet sales tax bill, the Marketplace Fairness Act, last month on a bipartisan basis, but it has yet to pass the House. This legislation would allow states to require online sellers to collect sales taxes, which would go to state and local governments. The legislation would apply to online retailers earning at least $1 million in sales outside of states where they have brick-and-mortar locations. Currently, online retailers do not have to collect sales taxes on Internet purchases unless they have a physical presence in the state.
This legislation faces more opposition in the House than it did in the Senate, with numerous members, including House Speaker John Boehner, criticizing it. The White House has announced that the president supports the legislation.
Age largely shapes Americans' views on taxing Internet sales. Younger Americans are much more likely than older Americans to oppose such a law. If Republicans in the House oppose the Internet sales tax bill, that may help the GOP's appeal to younger Americans, a key demographic in the party's plans to build support before the 2014 and 2016 elections.
Sue Hodge

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