Minnesota Internet Sales Tax Legislation Goes to Conference Committee

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Booksellers urged to write Governor Pawlenty

The American Booksellers Association and the Midwest Booksellers Association are calling on Minnesota booksellers to contact Governor Tim Pawlenty and their state legislators to urge them to support Internet sales tax legislation included in the omnibus tax bills currently being considered in conference committee.

Late last week, Minnesota's House of Representatives and Senate each approved omnibus tax bills that contain Internet Sales Tax legislation. The legislation would require out-of-state companies that have affiliates in Minnesota to collect and remit sales tax on sales made over the Internet to in-state customers. A conference committee will meet to rectify differences between the two omnibus tax bills, and the final bill will then go to Governor Pawlenty for a vote. The Internet sales tax legislation could be removed from the bill during conference negotiations, possibly at the behest of the governor. A number of media outlets have reported that the Governor Pawlenty will veto any item he perceives as a tax hike.

"That the Internet sales tax legislation has made it to the conference committee is very positive news for Minnesota booksellers and all supporters of e-fairness," said Oren Teicher, ABA COO. "However, it's crucial to send a message to Governor Pawlenty that Internet sales tax legislation is critically important to Minnesota's economic health. The e-fairness fight is about enforcing existing sales tax law -- it is not a tax hike or a new tax. Rather it is about taking a stand for equity and fairness for in-state retailers. It is vital that the governor hear this message from booksellers. And, as we hit the home stretch of our campaign, we urge you to ask your retailer neighbors to join our campaign and to contact Governor Pawlenty." Teicher added that booksellers should also continue to write their state legislators.

To help Minnesota booksellers in this important advocacy outreach, MBA and ABA have prepared a template letter that can be adapted and sent to the governor. In addition, there is also a template letter that booksellers can adapt and send to their state senator and representative. Here's contact information for Governor Pawlenty; here is the contact information for state senators and representatives.

ABA also asks that booksellers notify MBA and David Grogan, ABA public policy liaison, when letters have been sent. This will help both MBA and ABA compile information to support their sales tax lobbying efforts. --Dave Grogan