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Mississippi governor supports taxing online retailers
12/6/2011 12:00:00 AM by Burroughs
A proposal to impose a new tax on online merchants has garnered the support of Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, who says that the time has come to level the playing field.

The Associated Press reports that the southern state executive recently came out in favor of a newly introduced piece of legislation seeking to collect taxes from online merchants. The bill was proposed by Republican Senators Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Mike Enzi of Wyoming.

In a letter, Barbour stated it would make things more fair for retailers, who often engage in cash automation and other activities.

'Today, ecommerce has grown, and there is simply no longer a compelling reason for government to continue giving online retailers special treatment over small businesses who reside on the Main Streets across Mississippi and the country,' Barbour wrote, according to the AP. He called for immediate action to 'level the playing field ... as there are no effective barriers to complying with the states' sales tax laws.'

Businesses with physical locations are hoping lawmakers are successful in their bid to end the tax loophole and attract more foot traffic.