Barbour backing Internet sales tax; Bryant opposed

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is now backing a congressional proposal to allow states to directly collect sales taxes from Internet and catalog merchants.

Barbour expressed support in a letter last week to Republican Sens. Mike Enzi of Wyoming and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee. He said he backed a tax exemption for Internet retailers at their birth, but they have now matured, and technology is now available for them to collect sales taxes.

“Today, e-commerce has grown, and there is simply no longer a compelling reason for government to continue giving online retailers special treatment over small businesses who reside on the Main Streets across Mississippi and the country,” Barbour wrote. “The time to level the playing field is now, as there are no effective barriers to complying with the states’ sales tax laws.”

Clarion Ledger