Bill to tax Internet sales closer to passage

| Thursday, April 25, 2013, 7:27 p.m.

WASHINGTON — The Senate moved closer on Thursday to passing a bill to tax purchases made over the Internet. But a final vote in the Senate was delayed until senators return from a weeklong vacation.

Although opponents hope senators will hear from angry constituents, they have a steep hill to climb to defeat the bill in the Senate.

The Senate voted 63-30 to end debate on the bill, setting up a final Senate vote to pass the bill on May 6. The final vote will only require a majority. But it faces an uncertain fate in the House, where some Republicans consider it a tax increase.

The bill would empower states to require online retailers to collect state and local sales taxes for purchases made over the Internet.

Under Pennsylvania law, online shoppers must pay a use tax if sales tax is not collected by the seller.

Retailers celebrated Thursday's vote.

“The special treatment of big online businesses at the expense of retailers on Main Street will soon be a thing of the past,” said Bill Hughes.

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