"I love paying taxes," said no one ever. So absent popular support, why has the Senate just passed, with bipartisan backing, a new national Internet sales tax known as the Marketplace Fairness Act that will allow states to collect taxes for the first time on sales outside their borders? President Obama said he will sign the bill if or when it comes to him, while an identical House bill also has bipartisan backing, although it will likely face tougher passage in the Republican-controlled House this week.
It sounds like bad news for consumers, but as it turns out, the real picture is a little more nuanced than 'Greedy Government Pushes New Tax on Behalf of Big Corporations'—which you could be forgiven for thinking at first glance. Techdirt points out that the tax has been lobbied for by two key constituents: "(1) big box offline retailers who think that the online guys are only beating them because they don't have to charge a sales tax for out of state purchases (2) local state governments who think they're being ripped off by not being able to collect such taxes."