With the House Judiciary Committee set to hold a hearing on "Exploring Alternative Solutions to the Internet Sales Tax Issue" soon, the National Governors Association (NGA) today released a statement reiterated its strong support for the passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act.
If passed by both houses and signed into law by President Obama, the bill would allow state governments to force online businesses to collect sales taxes across state lines. The measure is strongly supported by trade groups that represent the traditional brick and mortar retail industry like the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association.
Calling it a "long standing priority," the NGA said in its statement today that the Marketplace Fairness Act "upholds the principles of federalism and levels the playing field between Main Street and e-street."
"Legislation that allows states to collect taxes that are already owed is just common sense," said NGA Executive Director Dan Crippen. "It is fair, simple and good for business. It helps states, encourages competition and preserves Main Street jobs."
"Closing this unfair loophole is an issue on which Congress can and should come together," Crippen added. "Doing nothing is not an option anymore. Standing by just creates a large and growing inequity for our local businesses who drive our economy, contribute to our communities, sponsor the little league teams and hire our citizens."
The NGA went on to say that any legislation to "level the playing field" when it comes to the collection of online sales tax needs to grant states "clear authority to require remote sellers to collect sales taxes," allows states to preserve the ability to "develop and maintain their own revenue systems," and avoids any "provisions that would circumvent compliance with state tax laws."
Opponents of the bill believe that heavy lobbying by trade groups representing retailers has helped give this issue traction at the state and federal level, and that this bill unduly meddles with the free market.