Kaine: New Bill Would "Level the Playing Field" for Small Businesses

HARRISONBURG -- Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va) was in the Shenandoah Valley on Thursday morning to discuss the Marketplace Fairness Act, which is up for a vote next week.

The bill would give states power to collect taxes on Internet sales, should they choose to do so.

At the discussion on Thursday, Kaine said the plan "levels the playing field" between small businesses and online companies.

He says the online companies have an unfair advantage, since customers can normally find items they see in stores for cheaper on the Internet, due to sales taxes being withheld.

If the bill passes, Virginia could collect more than $300 million in revenue.

State leaders have already made a commitment to dedicate much of that money to fund transportation projects.

The bill still needs to pass a vote in the Senate, and afterwards, it will need approval from the state government.

"Once we pass this in Congress, people won't start to see sales tax collected right now. The General Assembly actually has to pass a bill indicating that this is what will have to happen," he explained. "It's an option the states don't currently have. Congress will give the states permission, so people can talk to their state legislators if they like it or not."

The Senate is expected to vote on the Marketplace Fairness Act next week. Kaine says he's already gotten support from local chambers of commerce, and he expects the bill to pass.

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