The governor’s race, along with all the other state elections, are about to get started in earnest. To that end, David Vitter and Scott Angelle are already trading barbs on taxes.
First up, Vitter’s SuperPAC, the Fund for Louisiana Future, put this ad up statewide hitting both Jay Dardenne and Scott Angelle on taxes.
The Angelle campaign in particular cried foul. They said that Angelle’s tax position is actually not that far apart from Vitter. Here’s an excerpt from an e-mail sent out by Ryan Cross, the Angelle campaign manager (highlights and bolding/underlining theirs).
The ad falsely attacks Scott. Scott has never urged the passage of an internet tax. He, along with Sen. Vitter, has supported a streamlined collection of the sales tax that is already on the books for companies doing business in Louisiana but that are based in other states.
His position is identical to that of Sen. Vitter who at the Louisiana Municipal Association forum on July 31, 2015 said:
“I think sales tax on internet sales is coming, it’s inevitable. It passed the Senate, I voted against the particular bill because I thought the small business tax exemption needs to be higher for very small businesses, but it’s passed the Senate and I think it will pass the house before long. We need to be properly prepared for that with state based sales tax collection, consolidated sales tax collection. I’ll lead the effort on that with your help and that absolutely has to guarantee immediate remittance of local revenue to local government that has to be immediate. We certainly cannot depend on an appropriation process or any other passage of bills in Baton Rouge and today with modern technology there is absolutely no reason that it cannot be immediate. It can be it has to be to guarantee you get that local revenue immediately.”
Here’s the bottom line: Scott Angelle never urged taxing internet sales, because it’s been the law on the books for decades. Scott and David both called for a streamlined method to collect taxes currently already on the books and return the revenues to local governments. Sen. Vitter did not oppose or call to repeal the tax, but rather seems eager to collect it.
The Angelle campaign followed this up with another attack on Vitter, saying that he voted for the law that authorizes Louisiana to tax internet sales. Here’s what the Angelle campaign sent The Hayride.
An email I sent yesterday, which you can view here, highlights how that attack is false. Scott Angelle never urged taxing internet sales. The tax referenced has been on the books since 1994.
Speaking of, in 1994, then State Representative David Vitter did in fact support passing the 8 percent “Consumer Use Tax.” He was one of the 75 “yea” votes.
HB 21 (Act 18) was passed by the LA House of Representatives in 1994 by a vote of 75-22. The bill required 2/3’rds vote since it was levying a new tax increase.
The Consumer Use Tax back then was focused on mail order and catalog retailers. However, the law was updated to include the Internet. The Internet really wasn’t much of a thing when David Vitter was in the Legislature.
Now is the ad true? You decide.