Emerging Tech

An Internet Sales Tax Suddenly Seems Imminent

Ben Margot/AP file photo

An overwhelming majority of Senators just voted to cut the debate short and get a final vote on a controversial bill that will impose sales tax on purchases made on the Internet. Though support to move the so-called Marketplace Fairness Act forward jumped from less than 60 senators to 74 who voted to limit debate on Monday, the pro-Internet crew has a tough row to hoe. But based on the industry Goliaths at their back, companies like Wal-Mart and Amazon, and the recent change of heart by so many lawmakers, the bill looks like it stands a pretty good chance of making it to the president's desk. It helps that the Obama administration announced not long before the vote on Monday that it supports the curent version of the bill.

But just because the bill suddenly has a lot of support from very powerful people, doesn't mean it's without opposition. Opponents of the bill have been around for years — though some, like Amazon, have switched sides over time. The resilient opponets include everyone from eBay, the Internet auction giant that's been mobilizing its millions of users against the bill, to Grover Norquists Americans for Tax Reform, a powerful anti-tax lobby with obvious libertarian leanings. After Monday's change of heart in the Senate, those groups turned their gaze to the House, where there's still some hope if not to stop the bill than to amend it so that's not so sweeping. 

Read more at Atlantic Wire.

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