On Tuesday, March 19, in advance of the Senate’s landslide vote in favor of sales tax fairness, the American Booksellers Association joined with Jewelers of America (JA) to meet with key U.S. senators and representatives in Washington, D.C., in support of the Marketplace Fairness Act (S.336/H.R.684).
Susan Posnock, director of public affairs for JA, and David Grogan, senior public policy analyst for ABA, met with staff from six congressional offices, as well as with staff of the Marketplace Fairness Act’s House and Senate co-sponsors.
“For more than a decade, Jewelers of America has urged Congress to level the playing field between brick-and-mortar jewelers and online retailers,” said Posnock. “While visiting the Hill last week, it was encouraging to learn that lawmakers are listening and that the scales have begun to tip in favor of fairness. We hope the momentum continues to build on this important issue.”
During a busy day, Posnock and Grogan met with staff members for Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Bob Casey (D-PA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Pat Toomey (R-PA), as well as staffers in the offices of S.336 co-sponsors, Senators Lamar Alexandar (R-TN), Richard Durbin (D-IL), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND).
On the House side, the two met with the staff of Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and H.R.684 co-sponsors, Representatives Spencer Bachus (R-AL) and Steve Womack (R-AR).
The Marketplace Fairness Act amendment supports states having the right to require remote retailers to collect and remit sales tax on purchases made in the state. The vote was a procedural move meant to test support for S.336/H.R.684. Supporters of sales tax fairness hailed the passage of the resolution as an important sign of strong legislative support for e-fairness.
“ABA was grateful to be able to work with the Jewelers of America in support of sales tax fairness,” said Grogan. “When representatives of two different sectors of the retail industry join together for face-to-face meetings in support of the Marketplace Fairness Act, it sends a powerful message to a legislator that this isn’t just a book or jewelry store issue, it’s a Main Street issue. We had good conversations with each office staff; they understood the issues and were genuinely concerned about coming up with a solution to sales tax inequity.”