Poll: Tennesseans oppose online tax, split on fairness to businesses

Associated Press • May 23, 2013 at 7:28 AM

NASHVILLE — A majority of Tennesseans oppose the state enforcing online sales taxes, though respondents were split on whether the current system is fair to local businesses, according to a Vanderbilt University poll released Tuesday. The survey also found that 60 percent support expanding Medicaid under the federal health care law, up nine percentage points from the last time the school polled on the issue in December. Gov. Bill Haslam announced in March that he would not accept $1.4 billion in federal money to cover about 140,000 of Tennessee's nearly 1 million uninsured. The Republican governor said he would continue to try to negotiate more favorable terms for an expansion with the federal government, but it's unclear whether a deal can be struck that's acceptable to both sides. Forty-six percent said they preferred for the state to run a health insurance exchange, while 41 percent agree with letting the federal government run it. Haslam has declined to operate a state-run exchange. Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate passed a bill to empower states to collect sales taxes from Internet purchases, but the measure faces a tough sell in the House. The change is supported by Haslam and fellow Republican U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker.

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