SHARE

YOU LISTENING, LINDSEY GRAHAM?

By a compelling 51-36 percent margin, South Carolinians do not want out-of-state retailers imposing their sales tax rates on the Palmetto State’s online merchants.  And when it comes to paying out-of-state sales taxes on internet purchases themselves, South Carolinians are even more adamant in their opposition – with 72 percent rejecting such a scheme.

The data – released this week by the National Taxpayers Union and R Street Institute – underscores the extent to which the state wants the federal government to adopt a “hands off” approach when it comes to taxing the internet.

That’s a message both groups are hoping will resonate with would-be 2016 presidential candidates when they come calling on South Carolina voters in advance of the state’s “First in the South” presidential primary.

“Republicans likely to vote in South Carolina’s First in the South 2016 presidential primary election are solidly opposed to empowering tax collectors in other states to enforce their sales tax on South Carolina e-merchants,” the pollsters noted.  “Strong majorities of Palmetto State Republicans, Independents and Democrats all oppose subjecting the state’s online merchants to collecting, filing and paying sales taxes to other states by more than 2-to-1 margins.”

Meanwhile 49 percent of respondents said they would vote for candidates who fought against internet tax hikes, compared to only 33 percent who said they would vote in support of tax hikers.

Andrew Moylan, executive director and senior fellow at the R Street Institute, said the data painted an unambiguous picture.

“The voters of South Carolina clearly believe that the Internet should exist to enrich the lives of its citizens, not line the pockets of out-of-state revenue agencies,” Moylan said. “While conservatives strongly oppose such a law, it’s striking that independents and Democrats join them in clearly rejecting new state tax enforcement powers over the Internet.”

We agree … which is why we bashed U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham a year ago when he embraced a $23 billion internet tax hike.  Joining him?  Democrats – and fellow fiscally liberal “Republicans” like Lamar Alexander, Saxby Chambliss and John McCain.

The NTU/ R Street poll surveyed 400 South Carolinians on June 1-2 of this year – and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

To view the results for yourself, click the link below …

SOUTH CAROLINA INTERNET TAX POLL (.pdf)