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Press Release

Citizen Group Salutes Sens. Wyden, Ayotte for Bill to Safeguard Small Businesses from Costly Online Tax Schemes

November 2, 2011
By Douglas Kellogg
By Pete Sepp

For Immediate Release:

(Washington, DC) – New legislation from U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) calling on Congress to avoid heaping new Internet tax collection burdens on small businesses is a major boost for homegrown entrepreneurs and taxpayers alike. That’s the view of the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU), which today endorsed the Sense of the Senate resolution stating that Congress should not give states “the authority to impose any new burdensome or unfair tax collecting requirements on small Internet businesses.” Earlier this year NTU backed a similar House bill (H. Res. 95) introduced by Representatives Dan Lungren (R-CA) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA). NTU Executive Vice President Pete Sepp offered the following statement in strong support of the Wyden-Ayotte proposal:

All too many elected officials and tax administrators regard the Internet as some vast unconquered territory that is denying them access to supposedly massive resources for filling their coffers. In fact the opposite is true. The online world has given millions of Americans the opportunity to start new businesses of their own, while allowing millions more existing businesses to expand their markets and improve their efficiency. As a result, governments are already reaping huge rewards – and revenues – from the Internet.

Senators Wyden and Ayotte deserve a round of applause for recognizing these prosperous developments and seeking Congress’s commitment to protect, rather than prey upon, what remains the key element in a jobs-based economic recovery: small business activity.

Their legislation could not have been introduced at a more important time. Rather than confront their irresponsible and unsustainable spending, some states hope to plug their budget holes by coaxing Congress’s blessing for a ‘streamlined sales tax’ revenue-collection cartel. Such schemes – despite supporters’ assurances of ‘small seller exemptions’ and promises of ‘simplification’ – would saddle small businesses with significant compliance costs and hamper the healthy tax-policy competition among states that has benefitted Americans’ pocketbooks.

In contrast to those misguided efforts, Senators Wyden and Ayotte are admirably proving Washington can craft bipartisan, forward-thinking proposals to help reassure our nation’s innovators that they have the freedom to succeed. Every one of their colleagues who believes in the positive contributions of America’s small businesses – along with the well-being of America’s taxpayers – should actively work to pass this legislation immediately and oppose bills to give states additional destructive tax powers. NTU’s members will be doing the same.

NTU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit citizen organization founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government, and economic freedom at all levels. The group was among the first to support the federal Internet Access Tax Moratorium and oppose the states’ Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement. Note: For more on NTU’s work in this and other public policy areas, visit