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Hoping To Build Support For Internet Sales Tax, Florida Business Groups Unveil Study

Florida business organizations are promoting a recent study which suggests the Marketplace Fairness Act can create jobs and build revenue for state governments.  But critics say the law will be detrimental for small businesses.

At a press conference Friday, officials from Florida TaxWatch, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, and the Florida Retail Federation unveiled a study conducted by conservative economist Art Laffer.  The study analyzes the benefits of the Marketplace Fairness Act – a law allowing states to collect tax on internet sales.

Florida Tax Watch President Dominic Calabro said the study predicts job growth.

“In the final analysis of their report, there’s about 107,000 additional jobs that should be created in Florida by 2022 – a little less than ten years from now,” Calabro said.

The study also predicts an increase in state revenue of nearly 3 and a half billion dollars a year. 

James Sutton, a Tampa Attorney and CPA focusing on Florida sales and use tax, said the legislation will address an important problem.  But for small businesses, the cure would be worse than the disease.

“A million dollar sales company might be generating 70 thousand dollars’ worth of tax around the country.  Then they would have more administrative payroll expense keeping up with the tax than is actually paid to the states in tax,” Sutton said.

Sutton said the administrative burden of filing tax forms with up to 45 different states on a monthly basis would push companies out of the market rather than fostering growth. 

The Marketplace Fairness Act has passed the US Senate, but still must pass the US House of Representatives.