WASHINGTON--()--The National Retail Federation urged the Senate to approve an amendment that would attach a sales tax fairness bill to a defense spending measure being considered today.
“The current collection disparity has tilted the competitive landscape against local stores, creating a crisis for brick-and-mortar retailers around the country.”
“As the nature of retailing evolves and Internet sales become a more prominent portion of total retail sales, it is critical that sales tax collection requirements not discriminate,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said in a letter to senators. “The current collection disparity has tilted the competitive landscape against local stores, creating a crisis for brick-and-mortar retailers around the country.”
“This amendment will bring a level playing field for local and online retailers alike and provide a business climate in which retailers have a better opportunity to grow and create jobs in a truly competitive marketplace,” French said.
The Senate is debating S. 3254, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, sponsored by Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich.
Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and Senators Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., and Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., have offered an amendment that would add their Marketplace Fairness Act to the defense bill. The legislation would give states authority to require out-of-state sellers to collect tax on sales to their residents the same as local stores. Under a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, sellers are currently required to collect sales tax only in states where they have a physical presence such as their headquarters, a store or distribution center. The disparity gives online retailers a significant price advantage over local stores.
As the world’s largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad. Retailers operate more than 3.6 million U.S. establishments that support one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s Retail Means Jobs campaign emphasizes the economic importance of retail and encourages policymakers to support a Jobs, Innovation and Consumer Value Agenda aimed at boosting economic growth and job creation. www.nrf.com