Washington–The National Retail Federation issued the following statement today from Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French on introduction of the Marketplace Fairness Act by Senators Mike Enzi, R-Wyo. and Dick Durbin, D-Ill.:
“We welcome this effort to level the sales tax playing field between Main Street merchants and online retailers. For far too long, brick-and-mortar retailers have faced a competitive disadvantage solely because of Congress’ inability to resolve the online sales tax disparity.
“Retailers should be allowed to compete for customers and sales on price, service and selection and not forced to compete on whether or not they collect state and local sales tax.
“The introduction of this legislation is a welcome sign that lawmakers may finally act on this retail industry priority, and builds upon ongoing activity in the House and Senate. It also comes on the heels of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s admission last week that the Court got it wrong on sales tax collection two decades ago and should revisit its decision.
“It is Congress’ responsibility to lay out a legislative framework on online sales tax collection and we hope that the introduction of this bill will spur congressional action to remedy this problem this year.”
Another trade organization, the International Council of Shopping Centers also said the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2015 will “get the government out of the way, restore the free market and close the loophole that has given an unfair advantage to online-only sellers like eBay and Overstock for over a decade.”
“The Senate sponsors have initiated the process to ensure that the market, not the government, determines winners and losers,” said Betsy Laird, senior vice president of Global Public Policy for ICSC. “With 60 votes in the Senate, it is now up to the House to move forward with legislation. We believe that this is the year they will finally stand up for local businesses that create jobs and support our communities.”
ICSC has promoted efairness for over a decade, advocating that a “sale is a sale” regardless of whether the purchase takes place on Main Street, at shopping centers, or over the Internet, Laird noted.