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Gregoire and Haslam Call for Marketplace Fairness Now


Washington Governor Chris Gregoire (D) and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam (R) have asked the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance to take action and pass the Marketplace Fairness Act (S. 1832) before the end of this year.

In a jointly authored letter to the Honorable Max Baucus, Chairman of the Committee on Finance, and the Honorable Orrin Hatch, Ranking Member of the same, the governors argue, "Never before has the need for legislation to grant states the authority to collect sales tax on remote sales been greater."

Gregoire and Haslam point out that states are missing out on "more than $23 billion in sales taxes owed annually from remote sales made through catalogs over the internet." They called the current state of affairs "an unwarranted yet growing subsidy to Internet sellers at the expense of brick and mortar stores."

The governors cite the Wall Street Journal in noting that "2012 holiday online sales are up 14 percent from last year" and the fact that "Cyber Monday was the heaviest online spending day on record at $1.47 billion." They insist that passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act would restore fairness to the system.

S. 1832 would, according to Governors Haslam and Gregoire:

  • "allow states to collect taxes as they are owed,
  • help businesses comply with different state laws, and
  • provide fair competition between retailers… ."

In addition, the bill would "serve as the equivalent of a $23 billion stimulus to state and local governments …" and it would do so "without raising taxes or increasing the federal debt."

The two governors urge the Senate Committee on Finance to take action now rather than wait until online sales tax legislation can be incorporated into a broader and more comprehensive tax reform. They insist that Main Street businesses and states "cannot afford to wait."

Governor Gregoire and Governor Haslam have joined forces on this matter in the past. They jointly authored an article last July urging Congress "to include marketplace fairness on its list of legislation to be completed this year."

Is your business ready for online sales tax? Find out here.


Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.