Legislation Would Simplify Sales, Use Taxes

By Rigsby, Deborah | Nation's Cities Weekly, September 29, 2003 | Go to article overview
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Legislation Would Simplify Sales, Use Taxes


Rigsby, Deborah, Nation's Cities Weekly


NLC Immediate Past President Karen " Anderson, mayor of Minnetonka, Minn,, joined state and local officials and retailers to announce strong support for the introduction of the Simplified Sales and Use Tax Act, introduced in the House of Representatives by Ernest Istook (R-Okla.) and William Delahunt (D-Mass.) last week.

The bipartisan bill would grant Congressional approval of the streamlined sales tax compact that has already been adopted by 20 states to provide a uniform system of administration for the country's more than 7,500 diverse sales tax jurisdictions--each of which has different definitions of what is taxable.

The 20 states have adopted legislation to simplify their sales tax systems as a first step toward Congressional passage of the Simplified Sales and Use "Fax Act that would permit states and local governments to require the voluntary collection of sales tax by remote sellers, such as catalogue and Internet-based retailers.

"Developing a uniform system of sales tax administration for states and local governments is essential in today's economy with the increase in Internet-based sales transactions," Anderson said at a press conference on Capitol Hill. "In addition to helping ensure that key municipal services are funded, this bill would help restore fairness and simplicity to our tax system."

Along with Istook and Delahunt, Mayor Anderson emphasized that the bill would not create new taxes, nor would it increase taxes or permit duplication taxation by different states.

"The bill would create a level of parity to ensure that all sales transactions be treated equally between Internet-based retailers and our local brick-and-mortar, main-street retailers that are required to collect and remit sales taxes," she said.

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