Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon blasted a proposed Internet sales tax Tuesday on the Senate floor, claiming it was a "bailout" for large brick-and-mortar retailers.
The Marketplace Fairness Act would require businesses to collect sales taxes on online orders. Under current law, state governments can only collect sales taxes from businesses that have a physical presence within the state.
Wyden said the proposed change was a "recipe for stagnation" and would "endorse the notion that Internet entities should be required to enforce laws outside of their home jurisdiction."
The Oregon Democrat has positioned himself as one of the top defenders of the Internet in the Senate by leading opposition to bills such as the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). He said the Marketplace Fairness Act -- like the bills he has opposed in the past -- would endanger the Internet.
"The Marketplace Fairness Act in my view is a targeted strike against the Internet and a targeted strike against the digital economy," Wyden remarked.
The Obama administration has voiced support for the bill, saying it would "level the playing field for local small-business retailers, who are undercut every day by out-of-state online companies." The bill is also supported by the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association.
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