We aren’t taxing consumers nearly enough, the National Governors Association and National Conference of State Legislators argue in a rather blunt joint press release issued today. The release is calling for the passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act, a bill that would make it easier for states to collect sales taxes from Internet purchases (a long-held position by these groups):
Annually, state and local governments fail to collect more than $23 billion from transactions conducted over the Internet or through catalogues. Although the tax is already owed, states cannot compel sellers, who do not have a physical presence in the state, to collect the sales tax without federal legislation to overturn a 1992 Supreme Court ruling. The explosive growth of electronic commerce — more than 10 percent annually — means states’ sales tax bases are eroding and increasing states’ reliance on other revenue streams.