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The U.S. Senate’s passage of the marketplace fairness amendment to the Fiscal 2014 budget resolution have won the wholehearted approval of two influential industry groups, the National Retail Federation (RILA) and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). The Senate voted 75 to 24 in favor of the amendment, which was introduced by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and received strong bipartisan support from Sens. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.).The legislation aims to give states the ability to better enforce their respective sales tax laws.
Thanking Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Durbin for their ongoing efforts to advance the issue, Matthew Shay, president and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based NRF, noted: “This is a critically important issue for retailers -- both large and small -- across the country. Both brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce leaders understand that the Marketplace Fairness Act is commonsense legislation dedicated to protecting states’ rights, strengthening our communities and preserving our free market system.”
Added Shay, “NRF members have worked tirelessly advocating for [the Marketplace Fairness Act], and we will continue to make this a top legislative priority moving forward,” though such methods as education and lobbying lawmakers “on the importance of leveling the sales-tax playing field for all retailers -- no matter their preferred channel.”
Sandy Kennedy, president of Arlington, Va.-based RILA, called the vote “a clear victory for Main Street retailers and those who believe in free and fair competition," adding that the “overwhelming bipartisan vote in the Senate is proof positive that the federal government’s special treatment of online-only retailers will soon be a thing of the past. While we take nothing for granted, today’s vote opens many pathways to making the Marketplace Fairness Act law this year.”
RILA has identified the Marketplace Fairness Act in its 2013 public policy agenda as one of the industry’s top priorities.
Identical legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) and Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) has also inspired solid bipartisan support, according to the trade association.