Internet sales tax bill splits GOP in many states

by LAUREN FRENCH | Politico
June 24, 2013

The battle over the online sales tax is heating up in the states and is starting to pit Republicans against members of their own party — again.

An issue that split the GOP on Capitol Hill last month — when 21 Senate Republicans voted for the tax and 22 opposed it — is proving just as divisive at the state level.

In one corner, GOP governors in Virginia, Wisconsin, Maine and Iowa are pitching voters on the benefits of the levy in an effort to raise pressure on their congressional delegation. Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia, for instance, has promised to use the anticipated revenue to fund transportation projects in his traffic-clogged state.

“It’s critical to our capital needs,” Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton told POLITICO. “All the funds … are dedicated to our construction fund … and we’re talking about, for Virginia, the potential of $150 million a year.”

In the other corner, Montana Attorney General Tim Fox, a Republican, is leading the opposition. He launched a coalition earlier this month to fight the online sales tax bill sitting in Congress on the grounds that it’s unconstitutional.

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