RILA discusses needed legislation

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) sent a letter this week to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. In the letter, they urged the committee to consider e-fairness and business tax reform as issues of great importance.

According to RILA, “Main Street businesses need Congress to level the playing field between brick-and-mortar businesses and online only sellers.” By this, they mean ensuring “…states

[have] the ability to enforce their sales tax laws.” States already have laws in place that would enable them to require remote sellers to collect and remit sales tax on purchases made by their residents. Unfortunately, “…a decades-old loophole that pre-dates the internet, [makes it possible for] online-only companies [to] achieve as much as a 10-percent price advantage over brick-and-mortar retailers by not collecting state and local sales tax.”

RILA Executive Vice President Katherine Lugar declares in the letter that “…states should be able to enforce their laws, regardless of whether a product is purchased from an in-state or out-of-state vendor, and collect state revenues essential for dealing with their own fiscal crises.”

She goes on to call out the Marketplace Equity Act (H.R. 3179) sponsored in the House by Representatives Steve Womack (R-AR) and Jackie Speier (D-CA) and notes that Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mike Enzi (R-WY), the sponsors of the Main Street Fairness Act, are now readying a similar bipartisan legislation in the Senate along with Lamar Alexander (R-TN).

In the plea to the Committee, Lugar states that if legislation is passed to “meaningfully address” these issues, it “…would allow retailers to invest, grow, and most importantly, create jobs.”

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