To view NRF’s testimony to the Senate Commerce Committee, click here. To view NRF’s sales tax fairness website, click here.
NRF to Congress: Close the Sales Tax Loophole This Year to Strengthen Local Communities and Create Jobs
WASHINGTON, August 1, 2012 – The National Retail Federation today urged members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation to support legislation that would simplify and streamline the sales tax system to allow states the authority to collect sales tax from remote and online retailers. NRF contends that leveling the sales tax playing field between online and brick-and-mortar retailers will strengthen local communities, protect consumers and jobs, and provide for a stronger and more competitive marketplace.
“It is critical that Congress eliminate the sales tax collection discrimination that exists between brick-and-mortar and remote retailers and allow the free market to operate so all retailers can compete on a level playing field.” NRF Senior Vice President David French said. “The National Retail Federation has long supported sales tax fairness legislation, and we are encouraged by the momentum that is building toward a solution.”
“Brick-and-mortar retailers are major contributors to the health of local communities and should not be placed at a disadvantage compared to remote [and online] sellers that have no local presence,” French said. “This disadvantage is not created by the marketplace, but rather it is imposed by the current state of the law following the Quill decision, stifling retailers across the country.”
French’s remarks came in written testimony submitted to the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing on the Marketplace Fairness Act, scheduled to be held this afternoon. The bipartisan bill addresses the 1992 Supreme Court decision in Quill v. North Dakota, where the court ruled that states could only require out-of-state sellers to collect sales tax if they had a physical presence or nexus in that state.
“The Marketplace Fairness Act (S. 1832) resolves this [sales tax] issue, providing fairness to both consumers and retailers, and maintaining the sales tax base for the 45 states that rely on a sales tax system,” French said. “Congress must resolve the issues presented by the Quill decision in order to allow for a level playing field among retail competitors. Congress needs to pass S. 1832 this year.”
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