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The National Retail Federation (NRF) and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) have applauded the introduction of the Marketplace Fairness Act, a bipartisan bill that seeks to close the sales tax disparity by granting states the authority to require remote and online sellers to collect sales and use tax at the point of purchase.
“For far too long local retailers and small business owners have been saddled with a competitive disadvantage with online retailers - sales taxes,” said David French, NRF’s SVP for Government Relations. “While store owners collect and remit state and local sales taxes their digital competitors are off the hook – and benefiting because of it.”
The bill specifies that states would need to simplify and streamline their sales and use tax definitions and obligations before implementation, and provide sellers with free software to help them comply.
“This bill grants states the ability to collect taxes that are already owed,” French continued. “The Marketplace Fairness Act reinforces free and fair competition in the marketplace, protects states’ rights, and brings much-needed simplification to the nation’s complex sales tax system.”
“The retail industry has always been fiercely competitive with merchants competing every day for consumer dollars based on price, value, services and other factors," RILA EVP for Public Affairs Katherine Lugar wrote in a letter to Senate and House sponsors of the Marketplace Fairness Act. "But today, Main Street merchants compete on a playing field that has been skewed against them due to a loophole that allows online-only retailers to evade collecting state sales taxes."
Lugar continued: “This state’s rights approach has the blessing of governors and state legislators throughout the country, in addition to the Main Street merchants who invest locally by hiring employees, paying property taxes and contributing to their communities."
To advance this retail priority, NRF and RILA have joined with other stakeholders, including the International Council of Shopping Centers, National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, and National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, to form the Marketplace Fairness Coalition, which is dedicated to advancing the Marketplace Fairness Act.