Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced late Thursday that an agreement has been reached on the Marketplace Fairness Act and a final vote will be scheduled for the week of May 6.
The online sales tax bill would require states to collect taxes from internet retailers who don't have a physical presence in the state. Currently, most online sales are tax-free, which supporters of the measure claim give them a big advantage over brick-and-mortar businesses.
At stake is approximately $23 billion in revenue that states forgo each year in online sales taxes.
The announcement comes several days after the Senate voted 74-20 on Monday to begin considering the bill and amendments and then 63-30 on Thursday to cut off debate and move forward with the bill. Nine Republicans who voted to begin debate crossed over voted against ending debate.
But Lars Etzkorn, program director for the National League of Cities' Center for Federal Relations, said, "We're extremely optimistic based on all of the majority procedural votes that occurred. We're not surprised that there was some slippage on the Republican side, but we're still optimistic because of the 63 votes and we just need a simple majority for passage."
It's likely that the legislation will ultimately pass the Senate but will face a more difficult landscape in the Republican-controlled House.
"What's already started is the work in the House," Etzkorn said.