The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) issued the following statement reacting to the lawsuit filed today by the state of South Dakota seeking a determination that it may validly require out-of-state retailers to remit the state’s sales tax on purchases made into the state.
Joe Rinzel, RILA’s senior vice president for government affairs with the Retail Industry Leaders Association said the decision made by the state of South Dakota follows years of inaction in the House of Representatives on legislation to close the online sales tax loophole.
“Retailers have been clamoring for Congress to solve this problem for more than a decade. Allowing online-only retailers to evade sales tax collection creates an artificial price advantage and a significant market distortion. This inequity has led to the shuttering of thousands of brick and mortar stores across the country.
“After an overwhelming bipartisan vote in favor of the Marketplace Fairness Act in the Senate more than three years ago, retailers have worked tirelessly to support legislative efforts in the House of Representatives in hopes of a vote on similar legislation. To date, despite multiple bill introductions by supportive members of both parties, these efforts have not led to a markup of legislation in the House Judiciary Committee, let alone a vote by the full House.
“Retailers would prefer a legislative solution that guarantees small business protections and other simplifications over a legal challenge to Quill. However, given continued inaction by Congress, it’s clear that many states have given up hope for a timely legislative solution and are seeking a legal remedy. Absent real progress on a legislative solution, we support this effort.
“Consumers have unprecedented power to compare products and prices, and choose from a variety of different online, mobile and in-store options from which to make a purchase. After a quarter century, the time has come for government to take its thumb off the scale and give all retailers a true free market that allows competition without government interference.”
RILA is the trade association of the world's largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.