(Washington, DC) – When it comes to a federal law allowing out-of-state tax collectors to reach into the pockets of Missouri’s online merchants, by a 51-35 percent margin Show-Me State voters have a resounding and simple answer: No! That’s just one of several findings from a statewide poll released today by National Taxpayers Union and the R Street Institute.
In the survey of likely 2014 general election voters in Missouri, 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 an exceptionally strong 50-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,” 67 percent of respondents were opposed with just 26 percent in favor.
“It’s no surprise that Show-Me State voters are opposed to legislation that would effectively conscript Missouri e-retailers to serve as tax collectors for other states and jurisdictions,” said Andrew Moylan, Executive Director of the R Street Institute. “While Missouri conservatives are strongly against such a law, it’s striking that opposition further crosses political divides; independents also reject it and, once explained in detail, Democrats join them in the belief that the Internet should exist to benefit Missourians, not other states’ bottom lines.”
“Our poll is designed to explore the specific – and sophisticated – opinions of Missouri voters on this critical issue,” said Pete Sepp, President of National Taxpayers Union. “Missouri politicians of all persuasions and philosophies should take note of the results and listen to voters, not the spin of special interests in Washington or Jefferson City.”
A statewide survey of 400 likely voters in Missouri was conducted June 2-3, 2014 by live telephone interviewing. Thirty percent of the interviews were conducted using a cell phone sample. The margin of error is ±4.9% at the 95% confidence level.
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 nearly 7,300 members in Missouri.
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.