ABA Urges Booksellers to Reach Out to Congressional Reps

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionSend by emailSend by email

After passing the U.S. Senate by a wide margin, the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 (H.R.684) will now be considered by the U.S. House of Representatives, where the pathway to passage is expected to be difficult.

This week, ABA CEO Oren Teicher e-mailed booksellers urging them to contact their congressional representatives. “Your outreach was instrumental in getting the act passed in the Senate. Now, we need you to make your voice heard in the House,” he wrote in the e-mail.

The Marketplace Fairness Act would give states the authority to require remote retailers to collect and remit sales tax for purchases made in the state, thereby leveling the playing field and recouping lost sales tax revenue. Importantly, the act has a small-seller exemption, which states that a store must do $1 million or more in gross, remote sales to be required to collect and remit sales tax in another state.

“As you know all too well,” said Teicher, “online retailers have a distinct advantage over Main Street stores in that, in many states, they are not required to collect and remit sales tax on purchases made in the state. This tax loophole is driving consumers out of your store to purchase products at an out-of-state seller to avoid paying sales tax. We are close to ending this loophole, but we need your help. Our opponents are claiming this bill will hurt small businesses, when, indeed, the opposite is true. But their misinformation might prove decisive in blocking the passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act.”

Teicher urged member booksellers to contact their U.S. representatives to let them know how important passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act is to their small businesses.

To make the outreach simpler, ABA has created a template letter that booksellers can adapt and send to their representatives, or that they can use as a source for talking points in a phone call.

Booksellers with questions about sales tax fairness or any advocacy issue should contact ABA Senior Public Policy Analyst David Grogan via phone at (800) 637-0037, ext. 7562, or via e-mail at dave@bookweb.org.