(Richmond, VA) – A statewide poll released by the National Taxpayers Union and the R Street Institute today finds that Virginia voters overwhelmingly oppose out-of-state tax collection on Virginia’s online merchants.
In the survey of likely 2014 general election voters in Virginia, a heavy majority (68 percent-26 percent) expressed overwhelming opposition to legislation like the “Marketplace Fairness Act,” which “would allow tax enforcement agents from one state to collect taxes from online retailers based in a different state.” They also indicated their belief that the Internet should remain as free from regulation and taxation as possible (by a 40-point margin).
“Voters in the Commonwealth of Virginia strongly believe that the purpose of the Internet is to improve their lives, not fund the governments of Maryland or California,” said Andrew Moylan, Executive Director and Senior Fellow at the R Street Institute. “Virginia voters evidently have strong misgivings about Internet sales tax proposals pending before Congress, and are equally strong in their support for an Internet free from government regulation – a position shared by Congressman Bob Goodlatte among others.”
“It should be no surprise that Commonwealth voters of all affiliations, including independents, want an Internet that prospers without excessive government interference. Virginians are rightfully concerned that this issue is about much more than taxes on e-commerce … it’s about empowering revenue agents and auditors from outside the state, at the expense of home-grown businesses inside the Commonwealth,” said Pete Sepp, Executive Vice President of National Taxpayers Union.
A statewide survey of 400 likely voters in Virginia 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 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.
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 9,000 members in Virginia.