April 20, 2014

Internet tax plan clears Senate

Wisconsin’s two U.S. senators split their votes Monday, when the Senate agreed to force online retailers to charge state sales taxes – just like brick-and-mortar stores have to do. The measure was passed 69-to-27.

Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin voted yes, and Republican Ron Johnson voted no. Johnson said he favors a level playing field but the bill puts “too much of a burden on online retailers.” He had planned to offer amendments but Majority Leader Harry Reid closed debate.

AUDIO: Johnson commenting, prior to the Senate vote, on the legislation being too intrusive (:21)

The bill now goes to the House, where observers say it faces tougher sledding.

State revenue officials say Wisconsin would get an extra $95 million a year, once the compliance mandate is fully implemented. Stores with less than a million dollars a year in online sales would be exempt from the proposed law.