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Ronnie Musgrove on Technology

2008 Senate challenger; previously Democratic MS Governor


Level playing field for Main Street vs. Internet sales tax.

Musgrove adopted a letter to Congress from 44 Governors:

The nation’s governors have a strong and unified message to Congress: deal fairly with Main Street retailers, consumers, and local governments. In a letter sent to all members of Congress late Friday, 44 governors said:

If you care about a level playing field for Main Street retail businesses and local control of states, local governments, and schools, extend the moratorium on taxing Internet access ONLY with authorization for the states to streamline and simplify the existing sales tax system. To do otherwise perpetuates a fundamental inequity and ignores a growing problem.
The current moratorium on Internet access taxes, like those consumers pay to Internet service providers, and multiple and discriminatory taxes is scheduled to expire in October. The moratorium does not apply to sales taxes.

Currently, sales and use taxes are owed on all online transactions, but states are prohibited from requiring “remote sellers” to collect and remit those levies. A 1992 US Supreme Court decision said states can only require sellers that have a physical presence in the same state as the consumer to collect so-called use taxes. In instances when a seller does not have a physical presence, consumers are required to calculate and remit the taxes owed to their home states at the end of the year. The problem is most people are unaware that they’re supposed to pay, and states lack an effective enforcement mechanism. Online and catalog sellers, thereby, have a significant price advantage over Main Street businesses that must collect a sales tax on all transactions.

The loophole creates serious budget problems for schools, states, and local governments. A study estimated that states could lose as much as $14 billion by 2004 if they are unable to collect existing taxes on Web-based sales. Nearly half of state revenues come from sales taxes.

Source: NGA Press Release, "Level Playing Field" 01-NGA18 on Aug 20, 2001

Permanent R&D tax incentive & more R&D funding.

Musgrove signed the Southern Governors' Association resolution:

  • Whereas, the federal government’s investment in research and development (R&D) has dropped from 70% of total, national R&D at the height of the “cold war” to merely 27% in 1999; and,
  • Whereas, federal R&D spending has dropped from 1.5% of the Gross National Product (GDP) in 1987 to only 0.6% today; and,
  • Whereas, industry-sponsored R&D has off-set this decline by merely growing from 1.5% of GDP in 1987 to 1.6% today; and,
  • Whereas, federal leadership in technology transfer is of critical importance to the development and commercialization of established intellectual property; and,
  • Whereas, broadband, high-speed Internet technology is an essential asset to support the New Economy and foster a climate to aid R&D efforts; and,
  • Whereas, the advancement of digital government can foster supportive services important to research and development including cataloging of labor, statistics and venture capital, and further, can enhance citizen access and coordination of government information and services; now, therefore, be it
  • Source: Resolution of Southern Governor's Assn. on Federal R&D 01-SGA4 on Sep 9, 2001

    Other candidates on Technology: Ronnie Musgrove on other issues:
    MS Gubernatorial:
    Haley Barbour
    MS Senatorial:
    Erik Fleming
    Roger Wicker
    Thad Cochran


    2008 Senate retirements:

    Wayne Allard(R,CO)
    Larry Craig(R,ID)
    Pete Domenici(R,NM)
    Chuck Hagel(R,NE)
    Trent Lott(R,MS)
    Craig Thomas(R,WY)
    John Warner(R,VA)

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    Page last updated: Dec 03, 2008