On ‘Tax Day eve,’ Shaheen reiterates opposition to online sales tax

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen on Monday reiterated her opposition to online sales tax legislation currently pending before Congress, saying it would have “costly implications” for New Hampshire small businesses and other non-sales tax states.

Shaheen released a statement on the eve of Tax Day that she has filed several amendments to ensure businesses in New Hampshire and four other states without sales taxes could not be forced to collect sales taxes when doing business with consumers in states with sales taxes.

“Online sales tax legislation would impose new and unnecessary burdens on New Hampshire small businesses, at no benefit to Granite Staters or our economy, and I will continue fighting to make sure the online sales tax bill never becomes law,” she said in a statement.

According to Shaheen’s office, “an Internet sales tax would mandate all internet retailers to collect taxes for other jurisdictions — potentially placing a serious burden on these small businesses.”

Shaheen’s office released a statement from Michele Holbrook, owner of Michele’s Totally Awesome Gourmet Popcorn in Epsom.

 “As small business owners we are looking to take advantage of new markets and customers on the Internet. However, if Internet sales tax legislation is passed, we would be forced to collect taxes for 46 states and thousands of municipalities across the country,” said Holbrook.  “We just cannot afford the resources for that task. It will most surely and severely impact our bottom line and stunt our business growth.”

Shaheen has also written a letter to the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, expressing concern about the effect Senate-passed legislation would have on New Hampshire businesses.

The state Republican Party criticized Shaheen on the issue, calling her opposition to an internet sales tax  a “dishonest attempt to distract from her enthusiastic support for a sales tax” while serving her third term as governor in 2001. She had pledged to veto broad-based taxes in two earlier campaigns, but did not do so in 2000 and later advocated a sales tax to address education funding issues.

Author: John DiStaso

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