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The Marketplace Fairness Act is Back

  • Feb 14, 2013 | Gail Cole

 2013 May Be the Year of the Marketplace Act.

It's back, and members of both political parties are behind it.

The Marketplace Act of 2013 was introduced by a group of 53 Senators and Representatives today. The new and improved marketplace bill "resolves the differences between bills introduced in the Senate and the House of Representatives last Congress… ." This year's bill "would give states the option to require the collection of sales and use taxes already owed under State law by out-of-state businesses, rather than rely on consumers to remit those taxes to the States--the method of tax collection to which they are now restricted."

States wishing to require collection of remote sales tax would have to "simplify their sales and use tax systems" in order to do so.


Speaking to the Senate, the sponsors of the new bill said the following:

"It is time to stop discriminating through the tax code and put local and Main Street retailers on a level playing field with their out-of-state and online counterparts." Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY).

"By giving states the authority to enforce existing laws, the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 eliminates the competitive advantage currently enjoyed by many internet retailers at the expense of local businesses." Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL).

"This is an 11-page bill about a two-word issue: states' rights." Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN).


In the House of Representatives, the following was said:

"Small businesses and states alike are suffering from the inability to collect due -- not new -- taxes from purchases made online." Representative Steve Womack (R-AR).

"Congress talks a good story about protecting small businesses -- here's a chance to show we really care….  It's time for our tax laws to  catch up with the modern marketplace and take government out of picking retail winners and losers." Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA).

"Our bill gives Main Street businesses a fighting chance." Representative Peter Welch (D-VT).


Also sponsoring the bill: U.S. Representatives Aaron Schock (R-IL), Dennis Ross (R-PA), Chris Gibson (R-NY), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Judy Chu (D-CA), Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Renee Ellmers (R-NC), Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), Don Young (R-AK), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Ted Poe (R-TX), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Rick Crawford (R-AR), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Michael Grimm (R-NY), Niki Tsongas (D-MA), Charlie Dent (R-PA), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Mark Amodei (R-NV), Michael Capuano (D-MA), Mike Conaway (R-TX), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Kristi Noem (R-SD), John Larson (D-CT), Lou Barletta (R-PA), James Langevin (D-RI), Tim Griffin (R-AR), Eleanor Norton (D-DC) and Suzan DelBene (D-WA).

It remains to be seen whether 2013 will be the year for Marketplace Fairness.

Is your business ready for remote sales tax?

photo credit: Phil Roeder via photopin cc

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.