Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., has issued a statement saying that contrary to some reports on the Internet, he has not ruled out taking up the Senate-passed Marketplace Fairness Act, aka the Internet sales tax bill.
A local Virginia reporter quoted the lawmaker, who is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, in a story today as saying the legislation would not pass the House. Opponents of the bill cited the report, saying it meant that Goodlatte had effectively killed it.
In a statement provided to the Washington Examiner, Goodlatte said:
A news story published earlier today regarding my position on the Internet sales tax is inaccurate and should be corrected. I have previously stated that I have serious concerns regarding the Marketplace Fairness Act passed by the Senate. However, as clearly stated in a statement on the House Judiciary Committee’s website, I am open to considering legislation concerning this topic and the House is working on alternatives to the bill passed by the Senate.
To be clear, if any action is taken, Congress must be involved in the process and the House Judiciary Committee is looking at alternatives that could enable states to collect sales tax revenues without opening the door to aggressive state action against out-of-state companies. Furthermore, any alternative in the House would address fairness to all businesses and consumers.”
Goodlatte was referring to this story by the Roanoke, VA., NBC affiliate:
Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte says it’s unlikely the House of Representatives will pass the Marketplace Fairness Act.
The bill would require online companies to collect sales tax, similar to what brick and mortar businesses are required to do.
Despite already passing the Senate and having the support of organizations like the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce, Goodlatte said the bill is unfair to consumers since they would have to pay more.
“Transactions on the Internet are going to increase,” the Republican congressman said. “It’s obviously something where we want to make sure that the many, many businesses in this community who do business online and you don’t see them because they don’t have storefronts are treated fairly.”
Goodlatte said the states should reach an agreement so Congress doesn’t have to get involved. He said House Republicans will work on their own version of the bill that protects consumers.
Although the story does not explicitly say that Goodlatte has officially come out against the bill, an activist group opposed to it called Generation Opportunity issued a statement saying that Goodlatte’s comments “effectively kills the bill.” The statement was repeated by others on the Internet.