With all of the online purchases being made this holiday season, the Marketplace Fairness Act is on the forefront of everyone's minds in Washington. If enacted into law, the Marketplace Fairness Act would level the playing field for brick and mortar retailers (or independent retailers with a physical presence in communities) who are at a disadvantage to online (or "remote") sellers. As the law currently stands, remote sellers are not required to collect and remit sales taxes, while those with a physical presence are required to do so. According to the American Sustainable Business Council, "this imbalance hits locally owned businesses particularly hard and, as a result, adversely impacts local economies." Additionally, Arizona is estimated to have missed out on $703 million in uncollected revenue from remote sellers for just this year (source: University of Tennessee).
Staff with certain key US Senators involved in the creation of the Marketplace Fairness Act have expressed optimism in seeing the legislation passed out of the Senate before the "lame duck" session of Congress adjourns before the end of this year. There is wide bipartisan support for the Marketplace Fairness Act, and over 240 organizations nationwide have signed on to support the bill. The only challenge the Marketplace Fairness Act faces is a tight legislative calendar, so our representatives need to hear from us on how important it is that we get the Marketplace Fairness Act passed out of the Senate and signed into law. Here is what you can do:
- Tell your story on why this legislation is important to you. Spread the word to your friends, colleagues, and social media followers. As a small business owner, have you experienced the disadvantage of having to compete against an online retailer? As a citizen and resident of Arizona, how have you been affected by the lost revenue that should have been collected and remitted by remote sellers?
- Contact the leadership of the Senate Finance Committee and tell them your story on why the Marketplace Fairness Act is important to you. Share your story, and encourage the leadership to bring the Marketplace Fairness Act up for a vote. You can reach Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) at 202-224-2651 or through his email contact form. You can reach Ranking Member Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) at 202-224-5251 or through his email contact form.
- Contact Arizona's Senators Jon Kyl and John McCain to encourage them to support passage of this important piece of bipartisan legislation. Jon Kyl serves on the Senate Finance Committee, and can be reached at 202-224-4521. John McCain's office can be reached at (202) 224-2235 or through his email contact form.
Take just a few minutes to share your story or reach out to these important leaders, they need to hear from us! If you would like to learn more on the Marketplace Fairness Act, visit the American Sustainable Business Council webpage for talking points and further explanation on the bill's key components.