Small business owner David Broyles owns and operates two jewelry stores in his native state of West Virginia. Broyles also serves as chairman of the West Virginia Retailers Association. So he knows the industry, and he knows it well.
In a letter to the Senate Commerce Committee Chairman and West Virginia Senator John D. Rockefeller IV in advance of yesterday’s hearing on sales tax fairness, Broyles explained his experience with the unlevel playing field between local retailers and online merchants when it comes to collecting sales tax and how it’s impacting his business.
He described “the critical issue of the disparity in sales tax collection between brick-and-mortar retailers and online sellers,” and how small businesses and local jobs are “under attack” due to this government-imposed sales tax disadvantage. He cited his own experience of having to cut margins just to be able to compete against the sales tax advantage that online retailers have.
Broyles described how that sales tax loophole hurts more than just small business owners like him. He explained, “The disparity on sales tax collection means less money for employee wages, less money for investment back into my store and my community, and fewer taxes that support local government services.” According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, West Virginia will lose an estimated $103 million in revenue 2012 from being prohibited from collecting sales tax from online and catalog purchases.
Broyles wants to compete with national online retailers, in fact, he “welcomes it,” but due to an antiquated federal decision he just can’t compete fairly…
NRF is fighting for retailers like David Broyles and supports federal legislation that “would finally level the sales tax playing field.” NRF was on hand at the hearing and submitted testimony in support of small retailers and explained, “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.”
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