Online sales-tax bill faces web of opposition in U.S. House

But Jessica Melugin, an adjunct policy analyst at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington, D.C., public-policy group, said that would place an unfair burden on online retailers, who would be responsible for charging taxes for 9,600 jurisdictions nationwide.

A fairer solution, she said, would be an origin-based one that would charge tax based on the business’ location — a proposal that Capuano said “should be discussed.”

The current system costs Massachusetts $400 million in lost tax revenue annually because many Internet sellers are not collecting any sales tax, and buyers either don’t know they are supposed to pay, or do know but realize it can’t be enforced, said Jon Hurst, president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, which will join the National Retail Federation and several Bay State business owners today to lobby the House to pass the bill.