BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Three of the main Republican contenders for Louisiana's U.S. Senate seat say they oppose pending federal legislation to require companies to collect sales taxes on Internet purchases.

U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, U.S. Rep. John Fleming and state Treasurer John Kennedy participated Wednesday in a candidate forum hosted by small business groups.

Supporters of the online sales tax collection proposal describe it as an issue of fairness that involves treating online retailers the same as brick-and-mortar stores.

Boustany said he had problems with the current proposal, but left open the door for considering future ideas. Fleming said he didn't think a tax increase was the right way to get a fairer playing field. Kennedy said Congress should leave the Internet alone.

Eleven candidates have filed paperwork to run for the Senate.


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