Municipal officials pushed on Internet taxation

Calling the matter "the most important issue facing cities today," the mayor of Dallas, a state senator from Illinois and a WalMart executive all spoke passionately to a crowd of hundreds at the Los Angeles convention center.

Dallas mayor Ron Kirk said cities must insist that Congress allow local taxing of Internet transactions not to be greedy but to ensure the survival of key local services.

"It's about roads, about schools, about fire trucks, about public safety and about doing all the things we do at the local level and how we pay for it," Kirk said. "But it can't just be about money, it has to be about equity and stopping Congress from issuing the largest unfunded mandate in history."

Illinois State Sen. Steven Rauschenberger said that it is not fair to force brick-and-mortar merchants to tax while exempting e-commerce businesses.

"We need a level playing field," Rauschenberger said. "We can't let those in a political rush to gain popularity points amid a new group of lobbyists make public policy."

And David Bullington, vice president of taxes for WalMart, said if the Internet remains sales-tax free, it will only lure more traditional sellers onto the Web, leaving cities and states even further in the hole.

Kirk, who serves on an advisory commision that is charged with giving Congress a recommendation on the issue by next spring, said his group is so split on the issue that it will be almost impossible to give Congress the three-quarters majority opinion it wants. He said city leaders must convey their concerns to their representatives immediately.

"We are on very thin ice with this," he said, "unless you go home immediately and get in the face of your senators and representatives."

About the Author

Connect with the FCW staff on Twitter @FCWnow.

Featured

  • Telecommunications
    Stock photo ID: 658810513 By asharkyu

    GSA extends EIS deadline to 2023

    Agencies are getting up to three more years on existing telecom contracts before having to shift to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle.

  • Workforce
    Shutterstock image ID: 569172169 By Zenzen

    OMB looks to retrain feds to fill cyber needs

    The federal government is taking steps to fill high-demand, skills-gap positions in tech by retraining employees already working within agencies without a cyber or IT background.

  • Acquisition
    GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

    GSA to consolidate multiple award schedules

    The General Services Administration plans to consolidate dozens of its buying schedules across product areas including IT and services to reduce duplication.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.