The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) issued the following statement in response to an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote in the United States Senate to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act, legislation aimed at giving states the power – if they so choose - to better enforce their sales tax laws and to level the playing field for Main Street merchants.
The legislation, sponsored by Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY) Richard Durbin (D-IL), Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), passed the Senate by a more than two to one margin.
“The Senate’s overwhelmingly bipartisan passage of this legislation foreshadows the end of the special treatment of big online businesses at the expense of retailers on Main Street,” said Bill Hughes, senior vice president for government affairs. “After such a resounding vote in the Senate, we look forward to a constructive debate in the House to level the playing field for all retailers this year.”
Similar legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced by Representatives Steve Womack (R-AR) and Jackie Speier (D-CA) has generated strong bipartisan support. It currently has over 60 House cosponsors.
“For too long the Main Street retailers that are an integral part of their communities have faced tax rules that put them at a disadvantage to their out of state, online-only competitors. The Senate has voted to ensure that the market, not government, determines winners and losers,” said Hughes. “We are confident the House will reach the same conclusion.”
The Marketplace Fairness Act was outlined in RILA's 2013 public policy agenda as one of the top priorities for the industry: Retail Industry Leaders Association 2013 Public Policy Agenda: Empowering Retailers and Consumers to Grow the Economy.
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.