Betsy Russell reports after an hour of questions and debate this morning, the House Rev & Tax Committee ran out of time on the question of whether to introduce the streamlined sales tax legislation, which would position Idaho to be able to charge sales tax on Internet sales if Congress approves that; the committee will take the issue back up again tomorrow. “We can start to do something very good for business in Idaho,” sponsor Rep. Jeff Nessett, R-Lewiston, told the committee; he’s co-sponsoring the bill with Rev & Tax Chairman Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot, and Rep. Bill Killen, D-Boise. “We can make a statement this morning to our existing brick-and-mortar businesses in Idaho,” he said, toward “eliminating the 6 percent disadvantage that they have in competing with online competitors outside the state.” Nessett added, “Equally important, this will impose no new taxes.” That’s because Idahoans who make online or catalog purchases from out-of-state companies already are required to self-report that and pay the 6 percent tax on their Idaho income tax returns; hardly anyone does, and there’s little enforcement.

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