The National Retail Federation recently praised the U.S. Senate’s decision to move forward with debate on the Marketplace Fairness Act, legislation that would require online retailers to charge sales tax.
“NRF applauds today’s Senate vote on the Marketplace Fairness Act and we commend Sens. [Mike] Enzi [R-Wyo.], [Dick] Durbin [D-Ill.], [Lamar] Alexander [R-Tenn.] and [Heidi] Heitkamp [D-N.D.] for their skilled leadership in moving this legislation ahead,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “This is an important economic issue confronting America’s retail industry, the nation’s largest private sector employer. This is fundamentally about fairness and the need for government to end its discriminatory sales tax policy that disadvantages local, community-based retailers in favor of remote and online sellers. Despite what the opponents say this is not a new tax. A sale is a sale no matter the distribution channel. Every retailer – both brick-and-mortar and online – should be treated equally under the law and the Marketplace Fairness Act ensures that they will.”
Proponents of the legislation maintain that it will ensure a level playing field for all retailers. Under current laws, online retailers are not required to charge consumers sales tax, which many industry participants say undermines the competitiveness of brick-and-mortar retailers.
“The Marketplace Fairness Act is a common-sense piece of legislation, which allows states to enforce their own sales tax rules on remote sales, protects small business owners and e-commerce entrepreneurs with a robust small business exemption, and finally allows retailers to compete in a free and fair marketplace,” Shay said.