E Fairness Legislation Welcomed By Small Businesses
Written by Ken Gaebler
Small businesses and retailers are throwing support behind a new legislation that will require online sellers to collect sales tax.
U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, Republican from Arizona, and Rep. Jackie Speier, Democrat from California, are developing a new legislation that would close the sales tax loophole that has enabled online retailers like Amazon an unfair advantage over brick-and-mortar retailers throughout the country. Currently, online retailers are not required to collect sales tax from purchases but physical retail stores are, putting them at a price disadvantage.
Small business owners from Ohio recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with members of the Ohio Congressional delegation and Womack to show support for the e-fairness bill. Entitled the Marketplace Equity Act, the legislation would allow states to require out-of-state vendors to collect sales tax through individual state statutes or multi-state compacts.
"As a bookstore with a 'brick and mortar' physical location, I am required to collect sales tax," said David Koehl, owner of Paper & Ink Bookstore in Tiffin. "But Amazon.com does not, putting local bookstores at a 7 percent disadvantage."
The Retail Industry Leaders Association recently offered their support for the e-fairness bill as well. RILA Executive Vice President for Public Affairs Katherine Lugar said the bipartisan legislation would create a true free market and level the playing field for all retailers.
"Government shouldn't be picking winners and losers by giving a handful of online retailers special treatment," Lugar said. "Whether a sale happens in a store or online, the state sales tax collected should be the same."
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