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Contact Sens. Franken and Klobuchar to thank them for their support on a bill that would require online retailers to collect state and local sales taxes.
(Published Apr 22, 2013)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on April 18 filed for cloture on S. 743, the Marketplace Fairness Act, which could be voted upon as early as April 22. Sen. Al Franken is a co-author of the bill. Sen. Amy Klobuchar voted in support of the measure in a nonbinding budget amendment in March.
The Marketplace Fairness Act, a top legislative priority for the National League of Cities (NLC), allows state and local governments to compel the collection of sales taxes on online and remote sales that already are owed. It does not create any new tax or increase any existing tax; it simply provides for the enforcement of state and local governments’ authority. Additionally, the legislation aims to level the playing field between traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, who are required to collect sales taxes at the time of purchase, and the online retailers, who are not.
It is estimated that state and local governments are currently losing almost $23 billion annually from such sales. For Minnesota, the estimate is close to an astounding $500 million annually. Business groups and large online retailers like Amazon now join state and local governments in supporting the legislation.
A recent nonbinding vote of 75-24 (taken as part of the Budget Amendment vote) showed broad support for the bill.
Some members of the Senate Finance Committee may push back for procedural reasons since Majority Leader Reid’s motion effectively bypasses the committee process. NLC's view on this is that the issue had two hearings in the Senate Finance Committee and two hearings in the House Judiciary Committee during the last Congress, and it’s time to move forward to level the playing field.
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Contact Laura Ziegler
(651) 281-1267 or (800) 925-1122
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