A new poll from the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) finds that strong majorities across party lines oppose the imposition of new internet sales tax legislation like the Remote Transactions Parity Act or Marketplace Fairness Act. This poll comes as legislators on Capitol Hill are considering the possibility of adding such legislation to an omnibus appropriations bill. The survey finds that 65 percent of Americans oppose this expansion of taxing powers.
Andrew Moylan, the head of NTU’s Interstate Commerce Initiative, notes that these poll results should cause policymakers to think twice about advancing legislation that would empower states to tax internet-enabled businesses all across the country, regardless of their location.
“In addition to being bad policy, this poll shows that internet sales tax laws are profoundly bad politics,” Moylan said. “Voters recognize the danger in states exercising tax power without limits, which is why Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike are vehemently opposed to internet sales tax legislation.”
Polling has consistently found strong majorities against new internet sales taxing authority, with a Rasmussen poll in 2017 finding that 66% of Americans oppose these new internet sales taxes. The responses to the top-line question in this poll closely match Rasmussen’s results. NTU also conducted polling in 2013 and 2014 finding broadly similar numbers.
The survey was conducted for NTU by Fabrizio-Ward from March 7-10, and consisted of a representative sample of 2,000 likely voters nationwide. It found that self-described Republicans oppose internet sales tax schemes by a 42-point margin, while self-described Democrats oppose such plans by an eye-opening 38-point margin. Additionally, 78 percent of respondents see such a bill as a tax increase, while 74 percent view it as undermining the benefits of recent tax reform legislation.
“Any office-holder or office-seeker considering support of an internet sales tax bill is playing with fire,” Moylan concluded. “Republicans and Democrats can scarcely agree on the weather, much less on policy issues. The strong, widespread opposition across all partisan and ideological lines found in this poll demonstrate conclusively that internet sales tax laws are a political nightmare.”
The full toplines containing the poll questions and results, including the memorandum prepared by Fabrizio-Ward for the National Taxpayers Union, are available here. Full crosstabs can be found at NTU.org.