join the implementing states. Although Gov. Gray Davis once vetoed a similar bill because he said the Internet was too new to have sales taxes, his state's budget crisis may leave him no choice but to approve such a measure.

While the SSUTA is voluntary for retailers and states, that could all change once the states' effort reaches Congress. "The Senate has been more supportive of this, while the House looks at this as a new tax," Osten said. "We want to wait until June or July to get more states, and then introduce legislation and kick this thing off. There's enough support in the private sector." Osten added that Internet sales taxes might be added to a bill that deals with Internet access. That bill, the Internet Tax Freedom Act, which placed a moratorium on new Internet access taxes, might be a good companion bill because of its urgency," he said. The moratorium expires on Nov. 1.

NACo passed a resolution on the Internet Tax Freedom Act, and plans to begin lobbying Congress to enact federal legislation on Internet sales taxes once the SSUTA reaches its goal of 10 states and 20 percent of the population of states that collect sales taxes.

By Paul Mackie -- NACo staff writer