U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today joined a bipartisan group of 53 senators and representatives to introduce the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would help level the playing field between brick-and-mortar retailers and online businesses. Under current law, while brick-and-mortar retailers collect sales and use taxes from customers, many online and catalog retailers do not collect the same taxes. Under the Marketplace Fairness Act, states would have the option to require the collection of sales and use taxes by out-of-state sellers.
"Small retailers in Louisiana and across the nation are being put at a disadvantage against large, online businesses because of the nature of our tax code. This legislation is simply about fairness and leveling the playing field for all our businesses," Sen. Landrieu said.
This bill would overturn a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision that found that states cannot reach beyond their borders and require out-of-state internet vendors to collect the sales and use tax owed by state residents and businesses. In general, sales taxes are a significant source of revenue for many state and local governments. The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates $23 billion of sales tax revenue nationwide is not collected and remitted by internet vendors; in Louisiana, an estimated $800 million of state sales tax revenue goes uncollected every year.