Gov. Chris Gregoire today issued the following statement urging Congress to include Marketplace Equity on its list of must-pass legislation to be completed this year. Gregoire's co-lead on this issue, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, testified before the U.S. House of Representatives on the issue today:
"In order for our businesses, large and small, to stay competitive in today's marketplace, we must level the playing field between our Main Street retailers and online sellers. Due to U.S. Supreme Court decisions that predate the Internet and electronic commerce, states can only collect sales tax from retailers with a physical presence in the state. It is time we modernize these outdated laws and streamline tax collections.
"Without updates to these laws, Washington state alone stands to lose $446 million in state and local sales tax revenue to untaxed Internet commerce in FY 2013. That places local retailers, often small businesses, at a competitive disadvantage. As is too often the case, buyers use these small retailers as the showroom to view and compare products, to only later buy the same product online.
"This is a common-sense solution that will help small businesses, preserve jobs and simplify taxes. I thank Governor Haslam for his testimony on this issue before Congress today. Together we have served as co-leads on Marketplace Equity for the National Governors Association. I also thank the members of Congress who have been championing this issue and urge Congress to send a bill to the President as soon as possible."
To read a copy of an op-ed that ran in Roll Call today, co-authored by Gregoire and Haslam, visit: http://www.rollcall.com/issues/58_10/Gregoire-and-Haslam-Sales-Tax-Collection-Is-a-Solvable-Problem-216351-1.html