Poll: North Carolina Voters Reject Internet Sales Tax Law

(Raleigh, NC) – When it comes to a federal law allowing out-of-state tax collectors to reach into the pockets of North Carolina’s online merchants, by a 57-31 margin Tarheel State voters have a resounding answer: Don’t do it! 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 North Carolina, strong majorities across many ideological and partisan persuasions also expressed overwhelming support for candidates that oppose e-commerce tax schemes (by a 27-point margin) and indicated their belief that the Internet should remain as free from regulation and taxation as possible (by a 45-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,” 70 percent of respondents were opposed with just 20 percent in favor.

Click for complete poll results.

“North Carolina voters evidently believe that the Internet should exist to enrich their lives, not the treasuries of California and other states,” said Andrew Moylan, Executive Director and Senior Fellow at the R Street Institute. “While conservatives strongly oppose such a law, it’s striking that North Carolinians with so many other political and ideological viewpoints join them in clearly rejecting new state tax enforcement powers over the Internet.”

“Taxes of any kind will rarely be popular in opinion polls, but our survey reveals sophisticated, widespread concern over how this particular tax collection scheme would affect the state’s economy,” said Pete Sepp, Executive Vice President of National Taxpayers Union. “With numbers this dismal – including 67 percent opposition among those who said they backed Senator Kay Hagan – it’s surprising that any elected official in North Carolina stands by the Marketplace Fairness Act.”

A statewide survey of 400 likely voters in North Carolina was conducted June 1-2, 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 8,800 members in North Carolina.

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.