POLL: The Internet Sales Tax Is A Loser In Louisiana

Editor’s Note: From a press release put out by the National Taxpayers’ Union and the R Street Institute announcing the results of a poll they conducted to survey attitudes in Louisiana comes a clear signal to the state’s politicians on the internet sales tax issue…

When it comes to a federal law allowing out-of-state tax collectors to reach into the pockets of Louisiana’s online merchants, by a 56-33 percent margin Pelican State voters have a resounding and simple answer: Don’t! That’s just one of several findings from a statewide poll released today by National Taxpayers Union and the R Street Institute.

In the survey of likely 2014 general election voters in Louisiana, strong majorities across many ideological and partisan persuasions also indicated their belief that the Internet should remain as free from regulation and taxation as possible (by an overwhelming 51-point margin). One of the most lopsided results concerned federal legislation in Congress called the “Marketplace Fairness Act” – when told (factually) the plan “would allow tax enforcement agents from one state to collect taxes from online retailers based in a different state,” 69 percent of respondents were opposed with just 24 percent in favor.

“It’s no surprise that Louisiana voters are opposed to legislation that would effectively force e-retailers across the state to serve as tax collectors for other jurisdictions, like New York and California,” said Andrew Moylan, Executive Director of the R Street Institute. “Moreover, our polling finds that the belief that the Internet should exist to benefit Louisianans, not other states’ bottom lines, is not a partisan issue.”

“Our poll is designed to explore the specific – and sophisticated – opinions of Louisiana voters on this critical issue,” said Pete Sepp, President of National Taxpayers Union. “Louisiana politicians of all persuasions and philosophies should take note of the results, perhaps particularly Senator Landrieu, who has been an outspoken advocate for this legislation.”

A statewide survey of 400 likely voters in Louisiana was conducted June 4-5, 2014 by live telephone interviewing.  Thirty percent of the interviews were conducted using a cell phone sample.  The margin of error is ±4.9% at the 95% confidence level.

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