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    This page contains letters signed by elected officials, usually written to the President or relevant members of Congress.

01-NGA18 on Aug 20, 2001

Letter: a letter to Congress from 44 Governors:
Source: NGA Press Release, "Level Playing Field"
The nation’s governors have a strong and unified message to Congress: deal fairly with Main Street retailers, consumers, and local governments. In a letter sent to all members of Congress late Friday, 44 governors said:
If you care about a level playing field for Main Street retail businesses and local control of states, local governments, and schools, extend the moratorium on taxing Internet access ONLY with authorization for the states to streamline and simplify the existing sales tax system. To do otherwise perpetuates a fundamental inequity and ignores a growing problem.
The current moratorium on Internet access taxes, like those consumers pay to Internet service providers, and multiple and discriminatory taxes is scheduled to expire in October. The moratorium does not apply to sales taxes.

Currently, sales and use taxes are owed on all online transactions, but states are prohibited from requiring “remote sellers” to collect and remit those levies. A 1992 US Supreme Court decision said states can only require sellers that have a physical presence in the same state as the consumer to collect so-called use taxes. In instances when a seller does not have a physical presence, consumers are required to calculate and remit the taxes owed to their home states at the end of the year. The problem is most people are unaware that they’re supposed to pay, and states lack an effective enforcement mechanism. Online and catalog sellers, thereby, have a significant price advantage over Main Street businesses that must collect a sales tax on all transactions.

The loophole creates serious budget problems for schools, states, and local governments. A study estimated that states could lose as much as $14 billion by 2004 if they are unable to collect existing taxes on Web-based sales. Nearly half of state revenues come from sales taxes.


  • Topic: Technology
  • Headline: Level playing field for Main Street vs. Internet sales tax

  • Key for participation codes:
  • Sponsorships: p=sponsored; o=co-sponsored; s=signed
  • Memberships: c=chair; m=member; e=endorsed; f=profiled; s=scored
  • Resolutions: i=introduced; w=wrote; a=adopted
  • Cases: w=wrote; j=joined; d=dissented; c=concurred
  • Surveys: '+' supports; '-' opposes.



Democrats participating in 01-NGA18

Ben Cayetano s1aHI Former Democratic Governor (1994-2002) 
Howard Dean s1aPOTUS Democrat 
Mike Easley s1aNC Democrat Governor (elected 2000; retired 2008) 
Parris Glendening s1aMD Former Democratic Governor (1995-2002) 
Jim Hodges s1aSC00 Former Democratic Governor (1999-2002) 
Bob Holden s1aMO Former Democratic Governor (2001-2004) 
John Kitzhaber s1aOR Democratic Governor 
Gary Locke s1aWA Former Democratic Governor (1997-2004); Cabinet (Commerce) 
Ronnie Musgrove s1aMS Democratic challenger (2008), previously Governor 
Frank O'Bannon s1aIN Former Democratic Governor (1997-2003) 
Paul Patton s1aKY Former Democrat Governor (1995-2003) 
Don Siegelman s1aAL Former Democratic Governor (1999-2002) 
Tauese Sunia s1aAS00 Former Democratic Governor 
Tom Vilsack s1aIA Former Democratic Governor (1994-2002); Cabinet Sec'y (USDA) 
Bob Wise s1aWest Virginia Democrat 



Republicans participating in 01-NGA18

Lincoln Almond s1aRI00 Former Republican Governor (1995-2002) 
Jeb Bush s1aFL Republican Governor 
Donny DiFrancesco s1aNJ00 Former Republican Governor (2001) 
John Engler s1aMI Former Republican Governor (1991-2002) 
Mike Foster s1aLA Former Republican Governor (1996-2003) 
Jim Geringer s1aWY Former Republican Governor (1995-2002) 
Bill Graves s1aKS Former Republican Governor (1995-2002) 
Kenny Guinn s1aNV Former Republican Governor (1999-2006) 
John Hoeven s1aND Former Republican Governor (2000-2010) 
Jane Dee Hull s1aAZ Former Republican Governor (1997-2002) 
Bill Janklow s1aSD00 Former Republican Governor (1979=1986 & 1995-2002) 
Mike Johanns s1aNE Former Republican Governor (2005-2007); elected Senator 2008 
Frank Keating s1aOK00 Former Republican Governor (1995-2002) 
Judy Martz s1aMT Former Republican Governor (2001-2005) 
Scott McCallum s1aWI00 Former Republican Governor (2001-2002) 
Rick Perry s1aTX Republican Governor 
Tom Ridge s1aPA Former Republican Governor (1995-2001); DHS Cabinet Sec'y 
John Rowland s1aCT Former Republican Governor (1995-2004) 
George Ryan s1aIL Former Republican Governor (1999-2002) 
Don Sundquist s1aTN00 Former Republican Governor (1995-2002) 
Bob Taft s1aOH Former Republican Governor (1999-2006) 



Independents participating in 01-NGA18

Carl Gutierrez s1aGU00 Former Guam Governor 
Mike Huckabee s1aAR Former GOP Governor (1996-2006); Pres. candidate (2008) 
Gary Johnson s1aNM Libertarian Gubernatorial Challenger 
Dirk Kempthorne s1aID Former GOP Governor (1999-2006); and Cabinet Sec'y. 
Angus King s1aME Former Independent Governor (1995-2002) 
Tony Knowles s1aAK Former 2008 Senate Dem. primary challenger 
Mike Leavitt s1wUS Cabinet-2008 
Jesse Ventura s1aMN Former Independent Governor (1999-2002) 



Total recorded by OnTheIssues:

Democrats: 15
Republicans: 21
Independents: 8


















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