On Thursday, April 24, the U.S. Senate delayed its vote on S. 743, the “Marketplace Fairness Act,” which was originally expected as early as this week, until Monday, May 6, 2013. In the final procedural vote before the Senate takes up the bill on May 6, there was growing opposition to the fact that the bill had skipped the committee process, but there appeared to still be enough votes for passage. Earlier in the week, the vote to proceed without committee action was 74–20; on April 24 it was 63–30. More senators appeared to be concerned that careful consideration via a committee hearing is imperative before authorizing states to impose the complex existing state and local sales tax system on ecommerce and remote sellers. As we have commented before, the Marketplace Fairness Act fails to include such fundamental simplification measures as one tax rate per state, uniform tax bases and exemptions, vendor compensation requirements, and the harmonization of state sales tax holidays. Readers can learn more about true sales and use tax simplification here.
The House of Representatives has yet to take up the parallel bill (H.R. 684). We will continue to follow developments on federal legislation.