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POLL: Idaho Voters Reject Internet Sales Tax Law

by Douglas Kellogg / /

(Boise, ID) -- When it comes to a federal law allowing out-of-state tax collectors to reach into the pockets of Idaho’s online merchants, by a 52-32 percent margin Gem State voters have a resounding and simple answer: Just, no! That’s just one of several findings from a statewide poll released today by National Taxpayers Union and R Street Institute.

In the survey of likely 2014 general election voters in Idaho, strong majorities across many ideological and partisan persuasions also indicated their belief that the Internet should remain as free from regulation and taxation as possible (by a 48-point margin). One of the most lopsided results concerned federal legislation in Congress called the “Marketplace Fairness Act” – when told (factually) the plan “would allow tax enforcement agents from one state to collect taxes from online retailers based in a different state,” 68 percent of respondents were opposed with just 20 percent in favor.

“When it comes to Internet tax schemes like the Marketplace Fairness Act, Idaho overwhelmingly support the commonsense position that the Internet should exist to improve their lives and their communities, rather than plug the budgets of other states,” said Andrew Moylan, Executive Director and Senior Fellow at the R Street Institute. “While Idaho conservatives are strongly against such a law, it’s striking that opposition crosses political divides as independents and Democrats join them in forcefully rejecting new state tax enforcement powers over the Internet. Clearly, elected officials like Congressman Raul Labrador are representing the views of their constituents when they oppose this legislation.”

“Our poll is designed to explore the specific – and sophisticated – opinions of Idaho voters on this critical issue,” said Lee Schalk, State Government Affairs Manager of National Taxpayers Union. “Idaho politicians of all persuasions and philosophies should take note of the results. Any candidate who had numbers like this Internet tax collection scheme would have to seriously reconsider his or her political future.”

The R Street Institute is a non-profit, non-partisan, public policy research organization (“think tank”). Its mission is to engage in policy research and outreach to promote free markets and limited, effective government.

National Taxpayers Union (NTU), “The Voice of America’s Taxpayers,” was founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, limited government, and economic freedom at all levels.  The citizen group has 362,000 members nationwide and over  17,000 members in Pennsylvania.