Online sales tax forges odd political alliances

Online retailers pitted against online retailers? Republicans and Democrats coming together on tax changes?

In what has become an unusual political dispute, legislation to allow state and local governments to collect sales tax on online transactions has rearranged some of the traditional battle lines in Washington. Called the Martketplace Fairness Act, the bill has found supporters and critics in both parties and split the oft-united retail community right down the middle.

Supporters believe the measure would deliver much-needed revenue to states and level the playing field for brick-and-mortar businesses, while critics warn it sets a dangerous taxation precendent and presents serious challenges for small online sellers.

The Senate has already approved the bill in a preliminary vote and is expected to formally pass it early next week; however, the bill faces a tough road in the House (thus, some normalcy remains).

Check out the gallery above for a full rundown of which politicians and businesses are trying to push the bill through to the president — and which ones are trying to shoot it down.

Related: What’s your opinion on the online sales tax bill?

Related: Here’s why the bill could spell trouble for online sellers

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J.D. Harrison covers startups, small business and entrepreneurship, with a focus on public policy, and he runs the On Small Business blog.
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