Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) and a bipartisan group of House members this week unveiled an updated version of their legislation to level the playing field for small local businesses competing with Amazon and other large internet retailers. Similar to the Marketplace Fairness Act, the Remote Transactions Parity Act would require remote sellers to collect the same sales tax collected by brick and mortar stores, but goes further by including additional protections and exemptions for small online retailers.
"This is an issue of fairness," Congressman Welch said. "Small mom-and-pop businesses in Vermont struggle every day to offer competitive prices to their customers. They simply cannot compete against Amazon and other large retailers who sell the same products online at a lower price because they are not required to collect state or local sales taxes. Vermont's small businesses need a level playing field. Our bill will give them a fighting chance."
Currently, states are only allowed to require businesses to collect the sales tax on purchases made online if the retailer has a physical presence in the state, such as a brick and mortar store or a distribution warehouse. RPTA would require a state sales tax to be collected on all purchases regardless of an in-state presence.
Welch has long been an advocate for downtown businesses. In 2013,he introduced the Marketplace Fairness Act to close the sales tax loophole and level the playing field for local merchants.