US Senate will debate Marketplace Fairness Act

Apr 26, 2013

   A new internet sales tax up for debate in the United States Senate could affect Missouri businesses. The Marketplace Fairness Act would allow states to tax online transactions from stores without a physical presence in Missouri.

   University of Missouri Truman School of Public Affairs doctoral student Andrew Wesemann explains that currently states can only levy sales and use taxes on businesses with a physical presence in the state. Should the act pass, any business would be subject to the tax regardless of where they are based. Wesemann says significant additional revenue is possible under the new act.

   “We wanted to get some solid estimates from Missouri to see how much tax revenue was forgone and we ended up coming up with about $259 million annually,” Wesemann said. “Over a nine year time span it was about 2.3 billion.”

   Wesemann says the act could go up for debate as early as May. The act is co-sponsored in the Senate by Senators Roy Blunt and Richard Durbin.