House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) may find himself in a better position to promote his version of remote sales tax legislation now that John Boehner is stepping aside. The lame-duck Speaker of the House is less likely to push for a vote on the legislation, and his apparent successor, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), is a known proponent of regular order in presenting bills, according to a key supporter of Goodlatte’s position.
“Under Speaker McCarthy, the role of committee chairman would be stronger. It would reinforce Goodlatte’s role in determining whether and when legislation is introduced,” says Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice, a business coalition opposed to requiring e-tailers and catalogers to collect state taxes remotely.
Goodlatte’s colleague on the Judiciary Committee, Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), has been busy signing co-sponsors onto his own bill, which would require businesses to track rates and rules for 9,600 taxing jurisdictions and expose them to audits by 48 state tax administrations. Boehner’s imminent departure could stall its momentum while giving Goodlatte time to shore up support for his bill, still in draft form.
Goodlatte has set down seven requirements for remote sales tax legislation, including direct recourse to challenging state taxing authorities, simple and uniform tax codes, and a common burden of taxation for online, mail-order, and brick-and-mortar retailers.
“Goodlatte is less concerned with state tax collectors and more interested in the businesses bearing the tax burdens,” says DelBianco