E-Fairness Reminder: Template Letter Available

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To date, 15 states have responded to a letter from the American Booksellers Association and seven other trade groups that calls for the equitable enforcement of sales tax laws on online purchases: California, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Washington, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

"It's now crucial for booksellers in the remaining 30 states that collect sales tax to let their governors know how important this issue is for their state's business owners. The more booksellers that write, the more powerful the message will be," said ABA COO Oren Teicher. "We are asking ABA members to write letters to their governors so that state officials understand the urgency of this issue."

As example of how successful a letter-writing campaign can be, Teicher noted that booksellers in New York recently welcomed the news that Governor Eliot Spitzer is seeking legislative approval to clarify what constitutes nexus for online retailers selling to New York State residents. In November, ABA CEO Avin Mark Domnitz and more than 30 New York booksellers had written to Governor Spitzer to call for the equitable collection of sales tax.

The association has prepared a template letter that booksellers can easily adapt and send to their governors. To have the greatest impact, booksellers should mail a hardcopy of the letter on store letterhead to the governor's office. ABA is also asking booksellers to fax a copy of their letter to David Grogan, ABA public policy liaison, at (914) 591-2720, or to send it via e-mail to dave@bookweb.org.