Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) joined a bipartisan, bicameral group of 15 Members of Congress to file an amicus brief in the pending Supreme Court ruling on South Dakota v. Wayfair.
Chairman Goodlatte, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Senator jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), and Representative Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) have issued the following statements:
Chairman Goodlatte: “Congress, which the Founders endowed with the ability to regulate interstate commerce, is actively seeking a solution to the online sales tax issue. Our constituents, our small businesses with storefronts, and our local internet sellers expect us to fix this problem as their elected representatives. We are working towards a solution that will promote fairness for all types of retailers without violating the principle of ‘no regulation without representation.’ That principle preserves the political accountability that is essential to deter onerous compliance burdens.
“However, it will be more difficult to fulfill our Constitutional obligation if the Supreme Court intervenes with a unilateral decision. As friends of the court, we merely ask that Congress be allowed to do its job to resolve the complicated issue of online sales tax.”
Senator Wyden: “Voters in Oregon and in states across the country have made it clear they do not want to touch sales taxes with a ten foot pole, but lawmakers in Washington want to impose one on them anyway. This is the kind of legislative issue that ought to be handled by the Congress, but lawmakers rooting for sales taxes to go nationwide are rooting for the Supreme Court to do their bidding instead. The Supreme Court should recognize that throwing out the rulebook on sales taxes is the wrong answer. It’s Congress’ job to come up with a solution that won’t turn small businesses into tax collectors or defy the will of people in states without sales taxes.”
Senator Shaheen: “New Hampshire businesses shouldn’t be forced to collect sales tax for other states. I joined this bipartisan amicus brief and introduced a resolution opposing this effort because this decision would force small businesses in New Hampshire and across the country to collect sales tax for 9,600 taxing jurisdictions, adding a mountain of red tape and significant costs to our local businesses. The Granite State would see no benefit in the form of tax revenue, only costs, with our businesses forced to pay thousands of dollars for software and setup to navigate constantly changing tax rates. I will continue to work across the aisle to emphasize that this disastrous and misguided decision is wrong for our state.”
Representative Sensenbrenner: “This is a matter of policy. Congress holds the constitutional authority over interstate commerce. The Supreme Court should exercise judicial restraint and allow the legislative branch to settle this issue.”
Representative De Santis: “The rallying cry of ‘no taxation without representation’ resonated deeply with our Founding Fathers. Yet the taxation of businesses in jurisdictions where they have no way to hold taxing authorities accountable is contrary to this guiding principle.”
Earlier this year, Chairman Goodlatte filed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to deny review of the South Dakota v. Wayfair case so that Congress could finish its work on the remote sales tax issue.
Chairman Goodlatte has been at the forefront of efforts to resolve the complex issue of online sales tax, and has been an outspoken advocate for keeping internet access free from burdensome taxes.
From his negotiations regarding online sales tax, Chairman Goodlatte established seven principles of remote sales tax that must be met for a successful legislative compromise on the issue.