Top Internet Tax Lobbyist Dismisses Constitution as "an 18th-century document"


Posted by John Kartch on Friday, April 26th, 2013, 1:54 PM PERMALINK

As published in the Wall Street Journal, David French, senior vice president of government relations for the National Retail Federation, a group lobbying for the Marketplace Fairness Act, said the following:

"The industry is evolving very rapidly, and the law today is a 20th-century interpretation of an 18th-century document that is holding back the entire retail industry as it adapts to 21st-century consumer preferences and demand," said David French, senior vice president for government affairs at the National Retail Federation, a retail-industry trade group lobbying for the legislation.

The Commerce Clause in the U.S. Constitution affirms that states cannot tax across their borders. Physical presence within a state’s boundaries is required for a state to be able to tax a business, a consumer, or a sale.  The Constitution is clear: a person or business must be physically present within a state’s borders in order to be taxed.  By suggesting the Constitution is outdated, Internet tax pushers align themselves with the rhetoric of far-left judicial activists.

Americans for Tax Reform has pointed out five reasons the Marketplace Fairness Act is bad for taxpayers:

Expands State Tax Authority: State governments will be able to tax across their borders despite clear legal and judicial precedent arguing otherwise.

Slippery Slope to More State Tax Grabs:  Opens the door for further government intervention in the Internet and for states to reach across their borders for other taxes.

Tax Complexity: Small businesses would be forced to accommodate over 9,000 highly variable state and local tax codes and be required to settle disputes with out-of-state revenue boards in out-of-state courts.

Discourages Tax Competition: Rather than competing to lower taxes and attract businesses, states will compete to raise taxes on residents of other states.

Threatens Privacy: Business and state revenue boards with a track record of losing private information will have more chances to do so.

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