Representatives Steve Womack (R-AR) and Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) congratulated the Senate today for passing the Marketplace Fairness Act (S. 743) in the upper chamber while urging their House colleagues to quickly do the same and finally level the playing field for American businesses.
Under current law, brick-and-mortar retailers are required to collect sales and use taxes from customers who make purchases in their stores, but many online and catalog retailers do not have to collect the same taxes. Consumers now use brick-and-mortar stores as showrooms, and then buy the product online to avoid the tax - a tax that is still owed by the consumer but rarely paid. H.R. 684 gives states the option of requiring out-of-state sellers to collect sales and use taxes -- rather than rely on consumers to remit those taxes -- if states simplify their sales and use tax systems.
"After twenty years, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel for our brick-and-mortar businesses, and today's bipartisan Senate vote to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act has given even more momentum to close this tax loophole once and for all. Saving local retail business depends on it, and I -- along with Arkansas's Main Streets -- am grateful for the Senate's leadership on and dedication to this issue. Now, it's up to the House to act, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to make sure we do so before it's too late," said Womack.
"It is time for the government to get out of the business of picking retail winners and losers. My colleagues pay a lot of lip service in support of small business; the Marketplace Fairness Act is a way for them to step up and actually do something. Let's not wait until more businesses go under because of unfair online competition. This is not a new tax, the technology is there, and it is time for the House to act," said Speier.
The Marketplace Fairness Act was introduced in the House on February 14th with Representatives John Conyers (D-MI) and Peter Welch (D-VT) and has the bipartisan support of 65 cosponsors.