A look at the week of December 5 in public advocacy for the IT channel: This week, States urge Congress to address the issue of sales tax in online commerce. Senate Democrats introduced a new payroll tax bill to Republican criticism. A House cyber bill recommends creating a clearinghouse to share data between the government and private sector.
Congress Urged to Close Online Sales-Tax Loophole — State officials and some retailers urged Congress to finally close a loophole that they say benefits online retailers by allowing them to avoid collecting sales taxes from out-of-state customers. The issue the House Judiciary Committee examined relates to a 1992 Supreme Court decision in Quill v. North Dakota that found catalog and other retailers do not have to collect sales taxes from customers in states where they do not have a physical store or other facility. Since then, online retailers have used the loophole to their advantage, something state officials say has cost them billions in lost revenues according to National Journal.
GOP Rejects Democrats' New Payroll-Tax Bill — Senate Democrats unveiled a scaled-back bill to extend payroll-tax relief that drops President Barack Obama's proposal to cut employers' payroll taxes and reduces a proposed tax on millionaires, reports The Wall Street Journal. The proposal was denounced immediately by some Republicans as an empty gesture. But Democrats weren't eager to end the political battle quickly. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D- NV) had hoped the new bill, a scaled-down version of a measure the Senate rejected last week, would win more support from Republicans.
House Cybersecurity Bill Envisions Clearinghouse for Threat Data — A draft bill in the House would create an organization to share cybersecurity data between the government and companies, a move privacy advocates say must include safeguards to protect personal information, says Bloomberg. The so-called National Information Sharing Organization would be overseen by a board of directors that includes officials from federal agencies, civil liberties organizations and companies that own or operate critical infrastructure such as financial institutions or utilities.