From the Arizona Daily Star to the Tampa Tribune, a national op-ed authored by NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay has raised public awareness and political stakes on the need to level the sales tax playing field between online and local retailers in towns across the country.
“Twelve years after Falls Road Running Store opened, owner Jim Adams faces an uphill race against online competitors. A growing number of would-be customers try on shoes at his Baltimore store only to buy them later from websites that do not collect state sales taxes. In states across the country, similar loopholes have tilted the competitive landscape against the brick-and-mortar stores that have been the foundation of America’s communities for generations.”
Shay highlighted the impact of the issue on local businesses, local jobs, and even local government – which in total is losing more than $23 billion annually in uncollected taxes. But there is hope.
Congress is currently debating a series of bills, including the Marketplace Fairness Act, which seek to close the tax loophole and require online and remote retailers to collect sales tax just like traditional, brick-and-mortar stores.
The U.S. House of Representatives is even holding a dedicated committee hearing on sales tax fairness later this month. Shay called on them to act for the sake of local businesses.
“Leaders in Washington need to come together to ensure Main Street and online, remote retailers follow the same rules of the road…By enacting sales tax fairness, Congress can give brick-and-mortar retailers the level playing field they deserve.”