STARKVILLE — It is telling that Gov. Haley Barbour – the man who was famously “against raising anybody’s taxes” – waited until he had one foot out the door of state government to embrace a tax that should have been collected all along.
In recent days, Barbour came out in favor of the Marketplace Fairness Act – a federal plan to tax e-commerce. The legislation would allow states to collect taxes on items purchased online or through catalogs which currently isn’t collected because of a federal moratorium.
In the infancy of the online or e-commerce boom, Barbour staunchly opposed collecting existing state sales taxes on e-commerce. That opposition from Barbour came despite the obvious unfairness to local merchants who were forced under state law to collect state sales taxes while the online merchants without a physical business domicile in Mississippi were allowed to operate at a 7 percent price advantage.