Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz joined a bipartisan group of 53 Senators and Representatives to introduce the Marketplace Fairness Act, HR 684, which gives states the ability to require online companies that do not have a physical presence in the state to collect and remit state sales tax.
The Marketplace Fairness Act would ensure that local retailers are able to compete with out-of-state internet retailers and would prevent states from losing hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue every year. According to a Carnegie Mellon University study, Pennsylvania lost between $254 and $410 million in uncollected revenues last year.
"It is essential we ensure that all businesses compete on a level playing field," Schwartz said. "This unfair tax loophole hurts local Main Street businesses and deprives our states, communities and schools of much needed sales tax revenue, we can enable local businesses to grow and create jobs.
The Marketplace Equity Act empowers states to require online retailers to collect and remit sales tax, and allows the states to decide how best to do so. This legislation does not create new taxes or increase existing ones. Consumers already owe sales taxes on the items that they have purchased.
The bill is supported by over 200 business, labor, and state and local government organizations including Amazon.com, the National Governors' Association, National Conference of State Legislatures, National Association of Counties, National League of Cities, Retail Industry Leaders Association, National Retail Federation, International Council of Shopping Centers, and AFSCME.