Date of this Version
Policy & Internet (2012) 4(1): article 5.
This article examines the moratorium on Internet sales taxation in the U.S. through perspectives of federalism and intergovernmental relations. First, it provides a brief overview of the literature describing contemporary theories of federalism and intergovernmental relations in the U.S. Second, it describes the efforts of U.S. governors to shape federal policy on the issue with a specific focus on the lobbying efforts of the National Governors Association to repeal the Internet sales tax moratorium. Finally, the paper describes the states’ attempts to devise an interstate compact designed to streamline state tax policy across the states with the goal of developing a mechanism to allow states to collect Internet sales taxes outside the purview of Congressional control. Arguing that the relatively recent development of e-commerce and the associated politics have allowed a unique relationship between the state and federal governments to emerge, the paper concludes with a discussion of the possible implications for state/federal relations in the area of ecommerce in the future.