Politics

Fiorina's history fluctuates on Internet sales tax

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Carly Fiorina has attacked Tom Campbell for supporting the taxing of Internet sales, but Fiorina's opposition to the tax does not jibe with what she has been saying for years.

It is the wacky part of the demon sheep web ad that people have been talking about, but it is the more straight forward attack on Campbell that Fiorina wants people to remember.

"When in Congress, you supported a tax on the Internet and you were publicly critical of the Bush tax cuts," the web ad said.

The day after the ad went viral, Fiorina defended her facts.

"What's interesting, I mean, whatever you think about that ad, no one has disputed the facts because the facts are the facts," Fiorina said.

But since then more facts have turned up regarding taxing Internet sales. In June of 2000, Fiorina said, "It's not realistic of our industry to stand and say this taxation should never be applied to e-commerce."

And she urges states to, "Bring our taxation system into the modern age so that we can tax in a fair way both on line and offline transactions."

Wednesday, a ABC7 asked her about that while she was in Sacramento.

"Apparently somebody, maybe Barbara Boxer, maybe Tom Campbell, has pulled this isolated quote from the year 2000; it's ridiculous, Barbara Boxer and Tom Campbell have advocated for Internet taxation for years and I spent many years in a row on Capitol Hill telling our senators and congressman that we shouldn't be taxing the Internet," Fiorina said.

But that is not completely accurate. When Fiorina said bring our taxation system into the modern age so that we can tax in a fair way both on line and offline, she was talking to members of Congress at a conference sponsored by the Congressional Joint Economic Committee.

And a year later Taxware International and her company Hewlett Packard developed an online tax collection system and tested the product in a May 2001 pilot project in Kansas, Michigan, North Carolina and Wisconsin.

"I have no idea, I have no idea what you're referring to, we weren't running a pilot program to tax the Internet; I'm sorry, I don't know what you're talking about," Fiorina said.

Wednesday afternoon, Fiorina's spokesperson called ABC7 to say yes, HP had worked on that pilot project; Fiorina just did not remember. And though she said over the years that it is not realistic to think the Internet should be free of sales taxes, for the record, Fiorina is opposed to the tax.

Campbell's campaign says he supports the state's right to collect Internet sales taxes.

Orange county Assm. Chuck DeVore, R-Irvine, the third Republican in that U.S. Senate primary race says he too recognizes the state's right, but he does not agree with it.

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Tags:
internet, carly fiorina, tom campbell, chuck devore, senate, barbara boxer, politics, mark matthews
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