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Chegg.com CEO: Internet Sales Tax Needs to Be Fair

Monday, 25 Mar 2013 | 1:44 PM ET
Chegg.com CEO: Parsing the Pay Gap
Monday, 25 Mar 2013 | 11:10 AM ET
In a wide-ranging interview, Daniel Rosensweig, Chegg president and CEO, discusses how online sales taxes will impact retailers, and the widening gap between highly-paid executives and employees.

As legislators consider standardizing the collection of Internet sales tax at the national level, the debate on what's fair for online retailers and small businesses is in full swing.

The Senate on Friday voted for a non-binding amendment to test support for the proposed Marketplace Fairness Act. Already 48 states require online sales tax, but enforcement varies. Online behemoth Amazon supports the act, while eBay opposes it.

The drawn-out Internet sales tax issue "has been unfair to other retailers," said Daniel Rosensweig, president and chief executive of Chegg.com, where students can rent or buy textbooks. Rosensweig was also Yahoo's former chief operating officer.

"Either everybody collects the tax or nobody collects the tax," said Rosensweig on CNBC Monday. "I'm not for taxes at all on these kinds of goods, but I think it's got to be fair for everybody because it hurts local businesses if Internet companies can do it without tax," he said.

As head of Chegg.com, Rosensweig believes students shouldn't be paying taxes on any education material.

(Read more: More States Consider to Ban Credit Card Surcharges)

Taxing the Web
Congressional leaders may vote today on a budget amendment which would create a national internet sales tax, reports CNBC's John Harwood.

If and how online retailers pay out-of-state sales tax has been a thorny issue for years. Monitoring and collecting such sales activity, possibly through software, is another issue. The Marketplace Fairness Act recommends collecting the Internet tax at the point of sale — not through tax forms filed annually as is the case in some states.

In a wide-ranging interview, Rosensweig also discussed the pay gap between men and women and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's new book, "Lean In." When Rosensweig joined the Adobe board of directors, "she sent me an email with a list of women that ought to be put on the board," he said. "Now we have two women."

Rosenweig added education about the pay gap begins well before the first job. Young girls and women "shouldn't accept something that doesn't make sense," he said.

(Read more: Actor Turned Grocer Hits the Big Easy)

By CNBC's Heesun Wee; Follow her on Twitter @heesunwee

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