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House Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing On Online Sales Tax Legislation
Jul 24, 2012 (05:07 PM EDT)
Shopping Center Industry Applauds Movement by U.S. Congress on the Marketplace Equity Act
WASHINGTON, July 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on H.R. 3179, the Marketplace Equity Act, a bill that levels the playing field between brick-and-mortar and Internet-only retailers. The Judiciary Committee hearing comes on the heels of recent Senate activity on S. 1832, the Marketplace Fairness Act, a similar bill, which was filed as an amendment to a small business tax credit measure.
Today's hearing on H.R. 3179 highlighted that there is widespread bipartisan consensus on leveling the playing field between online retailers and brick-and-mortar businesses and that there is a need to add the Marketplace Equity Act to the list of legislation that should be completed this year. The hearing included statements from Congressman Steve Womack (R-AR) and Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA), the two bipartisan sponsors of the Marketplace Equity Act, and Governor Bill Haslam of Tennessee, who has been working for years to persuade Congress to close the current loophole for Internet-only retailers.
"We are encouraged by today's hearing by the House Judiciary Committee," said Michael Kercheval, president and CEO of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). "It demonstrates that there is real bipartisan desire to close a loophole that allows Internet-only sellers to avoid sales tax collection to the detriment of brick-and-mortar retailers. We urge Congress to act on the growing momentum to level the playing field for all retailers across the country," added Kercheval.
The hearing featured the following key points:
Both the Marketplace Equity Act and the Marketplace Fairness Act grant states the authority to compel sales tax collection on online purchases made by consumers in their state. It would end the competitive advantage pure e-retailers currently enjoy by not charging sales tax and modernize the sales tax system to better reflect the realities of the 21st century marketplace.
ICSC has promoted sales tax fairness for over a decade, advocating that a "sale is a sale" regardless of whether the purchase takes place on Main Street, at shopping centers, via mail-order or over the Internet. For more information about sales tax fairness and how the current sales tax system is unable to support the 21st century retail marketplace please visit www.21stcenturyretail.org.
SOURCE International Council of Shopping Centers