Shawn Massey, CCIM, SCLS

Support the Marketplace Fairness Amendment

 Please see a note from ICSC below and reach out and help support our Bricks and Mortar Retailers and our industry!

ICSC has just learned that sales tax fairness language was offered as an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill, S. 3254.  We anticipate that action on this bill may occur as soon as this afternoon.  In order for the amendment to proceed, it is critical to have the support of the Senate Finance Committee – especially Chairman Max Baucus (MT) and Ranking Minority Member Orrin Hatch (UT).  Please contact these senators immediately and ask them to not only support this amendment, but also PERSONALLY convey their support to Chairman Baucus and Ranking Member Hatch.  Our retail tenants should not have to suffer another holiday season because of the unfair price advantage created by an out-of-date sales tax policy.

ICSC has developed several resources to assist you with outreach.  You will find a list of Senators on the Finance Committee below.  Because we have a very the short window of opportunity, we recommend calling the Senate offices directly.  Please click here for talking points Phone numbers for each office are provided below.  If you are social media savvy, you can send a tweet using our “Tweet generator” at www.21stcenturyretail.org – make sure to include the hashtag #efairness.

Congressional action is necessary to fix the problem of online sales tax collection

Our current sales tax system must be modernized to reflect the realities of the 21st Century retail marketplace, where sales happen in stores, at home on computers and on mobile devices.

Because this is a matter of interstate commerce, Congress MUST grant the authority needed for states enforce sales tax collection and remittance from out-of-state sellers.

Community-based retailers should not have to spend another holiday season suffering from the competitive disadvantage created by outdated sales tax policy.

The Internet marketplace is rapidly expanding – It does not make sense to treat one channel of sales differently than another.

For the first time, Cyber Monday sales exceeded Black Friday sales this holiday season.

According to Adobe, Cyber Monday sales were $1.98 bil while Black Friday sales were $1.3 bil.

According to ComScore, online sales increased 26% over last year on Black Friday.

In 2011, e-commerce represented 16.6% of retail sales. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, GAFO sales)

In 2012 states are expected to lose as much as $23 billion in uncollected revenue as a result of online-only sellers not collecting sales taxes. (Source: 2009 University of Tennessee Study)

The Marketplace Fairness Amendment will NOT raise taxes but it WILL remove the tax burden being placed on consumers.

In states with a sales tax, if the retailer does not collect the sales tax for the consumer, it becomes the consumer’s responsibility to calculate it and remit it directly to the state.

Online sellers are not required to collect the tax in the same way that local businesses do – which puts local businesses at a disadvantage.

Consumers can be audited and charged with penalties for failing to pay the tax, but it is difficult for states to enforce.

These bills WILL restore states’ rights

Both bills empower the states and allow them to collect sales and use taxes two ways: States can collect under the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA) or they can adopt minimum simplification requirements.

States would have the option to choose the best solution for them, and not be required to conform to a one-size-fits-all model.

We respectfully ask that you support the Marketplace Fairness amendment and communicate your support directly to Chairman Baucus and Ranking Member Hatch.

Members of Senate Finance Committee

Democrats

Max Baucus

, Montana, Chairman: (202) 224-2651

Thomas R. Carper

, Delaware: (202) 224-2441

Bill Nelson

, Florida: (202) 224-5274

Benjamin L. Cardin

, Maryland: (202) 224-4524

John F. Kerry

, Massachusetts: (202) 224-2742

Debbie Stabenow

, Michigan: (202) 224-4822

Robert Menendez

, New Jersey: (202) 224-4744

Jeff Bingaman

, New Mexico: (202) 224-5521

Charles E. Schumer

, New York: (202) 224-6542

Kent Conrad

, North Dakota: (202) 224-2043

Ron Wyden

, Oregon: (202) 224-5244

Maria Cantwell

, Washington: (202) 224-3441

John D. Rockefeller IV

, West Virginia: (202) 224-2651

Republicans

Orrin G. Hatch

, Utah, Ranking Minority Member: (202) 224-5251

Jon Kyl

, Arizona: (202) 224-4521

Mike Crapo

, Idaho: (202) 224-6142

Chuck Grassley

, Iowa: (202) 224-3744

Pat Roberts

, Kansas: (202) 224-4774

Olympia J. Snowe

, Maine: (202) 224-5344

Richard Burr

, North Carolina: (202) 224-3154

Tom Coburn

, Oklahoma: (202) 224-5754

John Thune

, South Dakota: (202) 224-2321

John Cornyn

, Texas: (202) 224-2934

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