Murkowski: Marketplace Fairness Act is not Fair
Senator Shares Alaskans’ Concerns with the Ill Effects Bill Would Have
WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the United States Senate currently considering S. 743, The Marketplace Fairness Act, Senator Lisa Murkowski took to the floor of the Senate to criticize the bill for unfairly infringing upon states’ sovereign rights and exposing remote online sellers to other states’ sales tax requirements. For states like Alaska who have chosen not to have a statewide sales tax, this bill creates an unlevel playing field among other states with sales taxes.
“If this measure were to pass, it’s a measure that says to states [without sales tax] that ‘It doesn’t matter what your state laws are with regards to a state sales tax. It doesn’t make any difference because we’ve made a directive [in Washington, D.C.] that there’s going to be uniform application.’ I have a tough time with that. I think Alaska is situated with a sense of state’s rights and state sovereignty … I do feel that this is a hard push against state’s right and their ability to impose local state taxes within their state’s boundaries. So I am very concerned about the direction we have taken.”
Also during her speech, Murkowski shared a number of Alaskan voices by reading letters from Alaska small business owners threatened by the possibility of the tax law, from Eagle River, Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Under current law, state governments can only collect sales taxes from businesses that have a physical presence within the state. The Marketplace Fairness Act would require qualifying businesses to collect sales taxes on online orders according to the location where the buyer resides – thereby subjecting businesses to the tax laws of 49 other states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories. In a time when government should be getting out of the way of small business, this bill creates at least 50 new layers of regulatory burdens.