March 26--The online sales site eBay is taking exception to Maine Gov. Paul LePage's support for federal legislation making it easier for states to reap sales taxes from online purchases.
EBay's government relations director, Brian Bieron, told LePage in a letter last week that policymakers should "ensure that they protect small business retailers in Internet sales tax legislation."
LePage earlier this month sent a letter to GOP Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine asking them to support the Marketplace Fairness Act authored by Sen. Michael Enzi, R-Wyoming.
LePage said the bill would create a more level playing field in Maine by requiring online businesses to collect Maine sales taxes the same way bricks and mortar Maine retailers do currently.
Adrienne Bennett, LePage's spokeswoman, points out that the Enzi bill, which is the legislation LePage supports, already exempts businesses with less than $500,000 in gross sales.
But eBay noted there are a variety of Internet sales tax bills pending in Congress and says it supports a "robust" exemption that would be set by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Under current laws, consumers are supposed to voluntarily pay state taxes on online purchases, but rarely do.
Neither Collins nor Snowe is a co-sponsor of the legislation. The Maine senators intend to review the legislation and discuss it with LePage and others, their offices said.
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