POLL: Wisconsin Voters Reject Internet Sales Tax Legislation

(Madison, WI) – A statewide poll released by the National Taxpayers Union and the R Street Institute today finds that Wisconsin voters overwhelmingly oppose out-of-state tax collection on Wisconsin’s online merchants.

In the survey of likely 2014 general election voters in Wisconsin, a strong majority 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,” by a 63-30 percent margin. They also indicated their belief that the Internet should remain as free from regulation and taxation as possible (by a 39-point margin).

“Here in the Badger State, voters evidently believe that the Internet is best used to improve their lives and help Wisconsin’s small businesses to thrive, rather than treated as a piggybank by out-of-state tax collectors,” said Pete Sepp, Executive Vice President of National Taxpayers Union. “If a candidate had polling numbers like this Internet tax collection scheme, I suspect the political consultants would be encouraging that office-seeker to find a new line of work.”

“Opposition to Internet Sales Tax collection proposals like the Marketplace Fairness Act is not a partisan issue, it’s a common sense issue – voters of all ideological persuasions see through the rhetoric and understand the reality,” said Andrew Moylan, Executive Director and Senior Fellow at the R Street Institute. “Wisconsin’s elected leaders should study these results carefully as they consider this issue.”

A statewide survey of 400 likely voters in Wisconsin was conducted June 3-5, 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 approximately 7,800 members in Wisconsin.

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.