Several Tennessee Republicans Steer Clear Of Internet Sales-Tax Debate

Several of Tennessee’s Republican Congressmen are up in the air on a proposal to let states collect sales taxes for Internet purchases.  Both the state’s GOP senators are supporting what’s being called the Marketplace Fairness Act.

But Brentwood Congressman Marsha Blackburn is digging in against the bill, saying in a statement:

“There is nothing fair about the Maketplace Fairness Act currently being considered by the Senate. We don’t need the federal government mandating additional taxes on Tennessee families and businesses.”

Nashville’s Jim Cooper challenged that argument in a press conference Tuesday:

“This is not a new tax.  That is clear under the law.  People are supposed to be paying this already.  They are not.  What they are doing are ripping off local businesses today, using them as a showroom – involuntarily – to buy things on the Internet when they’ve used the bricks-and-mortar store as a showroom.”

Cooper and fellow Democrat Steve Cohen of Memphis are supporting the measure in the House.  A spokeswoman for East Tennessee Republican Phil Roe took no position and said he’d decide if the matter comes to a House vote.  A few others in the GOP are reportedly mulling it as well: namely Chuck Fleischmann, John Duncan and Scott DesJarlais.

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