Following both a number of state legislative victories for sales tax fairness and a growing national debate regarding the importance of fairness for Main Street Retailers, the American Booksellers Association announced this week that it is inviting independent association executives and independent business advocacy groups and their members to Washington, D.C., to advocate on behalf of a national sales tax fairness solution.
The Sales Tax Fairness Advocacy Day will kick off with an evening reception on Tuesday, November 1, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Then on Wednesday, November 2, attendees will gather on Capitol Hill at 8:00 a.m. for a morning meeting after which they will meet with their lawmakers to discuss their support for a federal sales tax fairness solution.
“Due to recent events in California and Tennessee, where Amazon.com publicly stated that they will use a sales tax moratorium to lobby Congress on behalf of a federal solution, a spotlight has been shone on the issue of sales tax equity on the federal level,” said ABA CEO Oren Teicher. “Bricks-and-mortar retailers have worked at an unfair competitive advantage for far too long. We need to drive home the point now that the government should not be in the business of picking and choosing favorites. States should be enforcing their sales tax laws fairly to require remote retailers to collect and remit sales tax to the state. The time for sales tax fairness is now.”
Another factor that might garner support for the passage of a federal sales tax solution is the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (known colloquially as the “Super Committee”). With the committee charged with finding an additional $1.5 trillion in debt savings by November 23, drastic cuts in funding to states are expected. Some political observers have noted a recognition that a federal solution would give the states the necessary legislative tool to effectively enforce existing state laws – and to garner lost sales tax revenue – which they will need in the face of possible cuts.
“Obviously, securing a federal solution by year’s end faces a number of challenges, but with a renewed focus we do believe we have a real opportunity to move this issue forward in Congress,” said Teicher. “We hope the Super Committee will consider sales tax fairness as one way to allow states to recoup lost sales tax revenue. And, the more participants in our Sales Tax Fairness Advocacy Day, the more powerful this message will be.”
Anyone interested in attending this important advocacy event should e-mail David Grogan, ABA senior public policy analyst, at firstname.lastname@example.org by October 17.