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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Advocates of a move to help states collect sales taxes on Internet transactions have won a Senate victory.
In a nonbinding, 75-24 vote, the Senate signaled its support Friday for legislation giving states the power to collect taxes on purchases consumers make from Internet companies.
The vote was a symbolic expression of lawmakers' views on the issue. But it showed that supporters of enforcing existing sales taxes on Internet purchases would have enough strength should the Senate consider the proposal later this year.
An estimated $20 billion in sales taxes go uncollected every year by out-of-state online merchants.
Supporters say collecting the tax would restore competitive balance between Internet companies and retail stores that already charge sales taxes. Opponents say the system would be too complicated.