Today, House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz introduced the Remote Transaction Parity Act (RTPA), legislation that would end special treatment for online-only retailers and give states the authority to require all retailers that sell products in their state to collect the same sales tax. Despite Senate passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act in 2013 on a strong bipartisan vote, the House did not vote on a similar proposal. Introduction of RTPA in the House should reignite the debate in Washington, and retailers are hopeful that lawmakers will find a consensus solution that can be voted on this year in both chambers. Jennifer Safavian, Executive Vice President for Government Affairs, issued the following statement regarding the retail community's support for RTPA and desire for a solution in 2015.
"Main Street retailers have long maintained that requiring some businesses to collect taxes while giving others a free pass amounts to little more than a government subsidy. Online sellers no longer need special treatment—it's time for Congress to close the online loophole and restore basic free market competition for retailers across the country.
"Retailers aren't asking for handouts or carve outs from Congress, we just want everyone to play by the same rules. We're open to any solution that provides clarity and fairness for both retailers and consumers—and that means no consumer should be paying a tax rate where they don't live and vote.
"We look forward to continuing to work with Chairman Goodlatte, Senate supporters and lead sponsors of RTPA in the House on a final product that restores free market competition for all retailers in 2015.
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.