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Day of Reckoning: Marketplace Fairness Act Passes Senate

  • May 7, 2013 | Gail Cole

 Marketplace Fairness - it's been a long wait on the steps.

It's official. The Senate has voted 69 to 27 in favor of the Marketplace Fairness Act. The May 6 vote was the real deal - not a symbolic gesture, not a vote to speed up the voting process. What does it mean?

For supporters, it's about "fairness, it's about leveling the playing field between brick-and-mortar shops and online companies, and it's about collecting tax that is already due." That's according to Senator Mike Enzi, the Wyoming Republican who sponsored the bill. The senator stressed that Marketplace Fairness is "NOT about raising taxes, taxing the Internet, or taxing Internet access."

For detractors like Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), who has opposed the bill since its inception, "it is a fundamental violation of the principle of no taxation without representation."

The Next Step

Next up: the House. Representative Steve Womack (R-Ark), who sponsored the House version of the bill, "wants and expects it to proceed through the committee process." There is concern among House Republicans that  "the Senate proposal remains too complex," and that it "would force businesses to comply with too many different tax rates and systems." (The Hill). That said, the bill moves to the House with a lot of momentum.

Remember Bill from School House Rock? He described a bill's "long, long journey" from idea to law with feeling. He hoped and prayed that he'd become a law as he dwelt in uncertainty on the capitol steps. For now, we'll just all have to sit there with him, and wait it out.

In the meantime, is your business prepared for remote sales tax?

photo credit: AGrinberg 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.