Sen. Heller, Gov. Sandoval Disagree On Internet Sales Tax

CARSON CITY – Gov. Brian Sandoval’s recent agreement with on-line retailing giant Amazon to begin collecting Nevada sales tax on purchases is unlikely to see federal legislation supporting the policy from Nevada’s junior senator.

The deal reached by Sandoval and Amazon is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, 2014, or sooner if federal legislation is passed to allow states to collect revenues from internet purchases.

Sandoval said today he has discussed the issue with U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, but that Heller is opposed to such legislation at the federal level.

Gov. Brian Sandoval. / Nevada News Bureau file photo.

“I have spoken with Sen. Heller,” he said. “Sen. Heller is not supportive of the, I think it is called the Main Street Fairness Act.”

Chandler Smith, campaign spokeswoman for Heller, confirmed he does not support such a proposal.

“Sen. Heller does not support imposing a federal internet sales tax mandate,” she said in response to an email inquiry. “The Amazon agreement in Nevada is a state issue.”

Sandoval said he has not had a discussion about such a proposal with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

The most recent effort to force on-line retailers to collect sales taxes is being pushed by U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Ten., and Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.

Sandoval said the agreement he reached with Amazon is identical to those established by governors in other states, including South Carolina, Indiana, California, Tennessee and Texas.

“So there are some very conservative governors out there that have taken the identical position that we have,” he said. “I’ll say it again that this is not a new tax. This is something that is required to be collected.”

Sandoval has estimated that the deal with Amazon will bring in between $15 million and $20 million a year. He said the deal is good for the state.

Sandoval jokingly noted that he’s doing his part.

Sandoval said he bought a pair of old City of Reno cufflinks on eBay on Monday, paying a grand total of $3.99. Sandoval said he then filled out a form provided by the state Department of Taxation to remit his 30 cents in sales tax to the state.

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Audio clips:

Gov. Brian Sandoval says U.S. Sen. Dean Heller is opposed to federal legislation requiring sales tax collections from on-line purchases:

050812Sandoval1 :08 Street Fairness Act.”

Sandoval says Nevada’s agreement is identical to those entered into by several other governors:

050812Sandoval2 :14 to be collected.”