It boils down to a matter of fairness. An overwhelming 65 percent of likely Republican primary voters think it is unfair “that stores with a local retailer have to collect sales taxes, but online stores do not.”
Across the country, GOP governors who support closing the Internet sales tax loophole have already committed to using the revenue that would be gained from this to help alleviate or cut taxes in other areas. It’s a win-win situation: Closing the loophole protects local businesses (and the jobs they provide) and relieves local taxpayers as states are given the tools to scale back income, business and property taxes.
The current system is problematic and needs to be fixed, and Republican officeholders would be wise to listen to their political base and follow the lead of the Republican legislators and governors who are already showing their support for a level playing field. Getting government out of the business of picking winners and losers by restoring a true free market gives every business a fair shot to innovate, compete and create jobs — and that is something Republican voters support.
Glen Bolger is a partner and co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies, a GOP political and public affairs survey research firm.