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Sens. Shaheen, Ayotte slam latest push for online sales tax

New Hampshire Union Leader

March 12. 2014 10:52PM

MANCHESTER — New Hampshire’s congressional delegation is opposing the latest attempt on Capitol Hill to enact an online sales tax.

U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., each wrote letters to the House Judiciary Committee that is hearing the legislation Wednesday and urged its defeat.

“Online sales tax legislation would put a huge burden on small businesses in New Hampshire that do business over the Internet,” Shaheen said. “It’s unfair to force businesses in states like New Hampshire, which have no experience collecting sales taxes, to navigate significant red tape and cumbersome regulations.”

Ayotte said the Marketplace Fairness Act is a misnamed piece of legislation that would “burden businesses and stifle our economy.” It would result in massive compliance costs that would cripple small online businesses, Ayotte wrote in a letter to U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

“The Marketplace Fairness Act would allow states to force retailers that have zero physical presence in a state outside of their own to collect and remit sales tax to it,” Ayotte said. “This would be especially devastating for Internet retailers in my home state of New Hampshire — a state that has neither a sales nor an income tax. The bill could lead to Internet retailers in all states being forced to become tax collectors for thousands of tax jurisdictions across the country.”

Shaheen said states without a sales tax should be exempt from any online sales-tax legislation.

U.S. Reps. Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H., and Annie Kuster, D-N.H., also have opposed the online sales tax during the past year.

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