Governor Haslam Testifies About Online Sales Tax - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Governor Haslam Testifies About Online Sales Tax

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WASHINGTON – Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam was in Washington Tuesday to urge a Congressional committee to pass legislation requiring Internet retailers to collect sales tax.

"This is an issue of fairness and I urge you to take up this issue at this time," the governor implored the House Judiciary Committee.

Haslam was quick to point out he isn't for raising taxes or adding new taxes. He said the issue is about states having the flexibility and authority to collect taxes that are already owed by their own residents.

Haslam said the fact that online retailers without a physical presence in Tennessee do not have to collect sales tax is not fair to brick and mortar businesses in the state.

The Governor also said he doesn't think requiring sales-tax collection would be a hardship on online retailers.

"I understand their issues. I can understand that it's different jurisdictions. I understand there are sales tax holidays in different places, but given the capacity that we have today, I am very confident that we can solve these issues," he said.

The Governor said Tennessee misses out on some $400-million in online sales tax under current law, and starting collection could mean reducing other taxes.

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