Nashville, TN – The Tennessee Campaign for Liberty challenges Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey to show he has fully paid the Tennessee Use Tax he owes to the Tennessee government. In a comment given to the Commercial Appeal published on May 9th, 2013 Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey stated “I am very much for the Marketplace Fairness Act…It’s not a new tax. It’s a tax you’re supposed to be paying now and you are breaking the law if you don’t.” referring to the Tennessee use tax as if it were the same thing as the statewide sales tax.
“The vast majority of Tennesseans do not pay the TN Use Tax, most don’t know that it exists or even how to pay it” said Matt Collins, a Coordinator with the TN Campaign for Liberty. “We’re willing to bet that like most Tennesseans, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey hasn’t paid all of the use tax that he owes to the Tennessee government for purchases that his household made online. Can he prove otherwise? If not, then it’s the height of hypocrisy to label people as criminals for not paying the very same tax that he himself avoids. He should show the People of Tennessee his Use Tax receipts.”
Lt. Governor Ramsey’s comments were in regards to attempting to sway the Tennessee Congressional delegation to support his push for the national Internet sales tax mandate. It will likely come up for a vote in the US House of Representatives later this year. The bill is known as the “Marketplace Fairness Act” and is being opposed by the Campaign for Liberty, eBay, the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the National Taxpayers Union, Americans for Tax Reform, Americans for Prosperity, Freedomworks, the Heartland Institute, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, and many other conservative figures.
According to the Tennessee Use Tax website: “If you buy or ship merchandise to your Tennessee address and sales tax is not added to the price, then you are responsible for paying the use tax directly to the TN Department of Revenue….The use tax rate is a combination of the state tax rate of 7% … plus the rate levied by your local government, generally 2.25%. The tax is applied to the purchase price of the merchandise plus any shipping and handling charges that the merchant adds to your bill.”