Congress moves one step closer today to closing a
decades-old loophole that has given online retailers an artificial competitive
advantage over their brick and mortar competitors. The Retail Industry Leaders
Association thanked House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Ranking
Member John Conyers (D-MI) for scheduling this morning’s hearing on the
Marketplace Equity Act (HR 3179), legislation that would close the sales tax
loophole by allowing states to require online retailers to collect and remit
state sales tax. RILA Executive Vice
President for Public Affairs Katherine Lugar commended bill sponsors
Congressman Steve Womack (R-AR) and Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) for
building a bipartisan coalition in support of the legislation.
“Retailers compete on
price every single day, and it’s time for government to stop meddling
in the free market by giving one segment of the retail industry special
treatment over everyone else,” said Lugar. “Regardless of whether a sale
happens in a store or online, the state sales tax collected should be the same.
Government shouldn’t be picking winners and losers by giving online companies
an artificial competitive advantage.
“Congressman Womack and Congresswoman Speier
have built strong bipartisan support for their legislation with 47 House members
currently signed on as cosponsors. That support, coupled with strong
backing from Republican governors across the country gives us confidence
that Congress will act.
“Retailers have been waiting a long time, and
today’s hearing is the next big step forward toward restoring a true free
market. We remain committed on behalf of
America’s retailers to working with lawmakers in both parties, in the House and
the Senate, to push for action this year that levels the playing field once and
Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) is a trade
association of the largest and most successful companies in the retail
industry. Its member companies include more than 200 retailers, product
manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5
trillion in annual sales. RILA members operate more than 100,000 stores,
manufacturing facilities and distribution centers, have facilities in all 50
states, and provide millions of jobs domestically and worldwide.