NRF: When it comes to taxes, online, local retailers should be on level playing field


WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation reiterated its call on Congress to address a loophole that allows most online sellers to avoid sales tax collection to the detriment of local retailers and communities.

"Our current sales tax system is broken. It favors one set of retailers over another, hurts job growth, and threatens the economic health of local communities," NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. "We can't allow an antiquated decision to unfairly disadvantage Main Street in a time when it's already fighting to stay afloat."

Shay's comments come as the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Tuesday on H.R. 3179, the Marketplace Equity Act, authored by Reps. Steve Womack, R-Ark.. and Jackie Speier, D-Calif. The bill would address the 1992 Supreme Court decision in Quill v. North Dakota, where the court said states can only require an out-of-state seller to collect tax on sales to its residents if the seller has a physical presence in the state. Instead, the legislation would allow states to require collection by all sellers the same as local retail operations.

"Every single retailer, whether they sell in a store, online or through the mail, should be afforded the opportunity to compete on a level playing field," Shay said. "Congress needs to address this for the sake of the millions of jobs supported by local retailers."

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