Needed: Bookseller Testimonials in Support of Federal Sales Tax Fairness

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This week, the American Booksellers Association is calling on bookseller members to provide either a written or video testimonial in support of federal sales tax fairness legislation to level the playing field for Main Street retailers. According to media reports, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary is expected to hold a hearing on sales tax fairness within the next two months.

“We are closer than ever to the passage of sales tax fairness legislation at the federal level,” said ABA Senior Public Policy Analyst David Grogan. “But it is crucial that the Judiciary Committee hear from independent businesses in support of a federal bill if we are to succeed. A short written or video testimonial in support of sales tax fairness that notes how a federal bill could positively impact your community and jobs could make all the difference.”

Booksellers who wish to provide testimonials should focus on one of two things:  

1. Why we need to level the playing field so that all businesses can compete fairly; or

2. How easy it is to integrate and use web-based sales tax collection software, if the business is using integration software.

Booksellers looking to provide written testimonial should write a brief overview of why they support sales tax fairness and explain how it is important to their business and their community. The testimonial can be any length, and Grogan stressed that “even a few sentences in support of a sales tax fairness bill will have an impact.” Booksellers should be sure to include their name, the name of their business, and where it is located. Written testimony should be e-mailed to Grogan at dave@bookweb.org, and he will then forward it to the Judiciary Committee staff. Booksellers should also send their testimony to their own members of Congress.

Booksellers can also choose to record a video testimonial using their smart phone or a flip cam. Before making the video, booksellers should write down a few points they wish to make about their support sales tax fairness. They should then select the location where they want to record their testimonial (e.g., inside the business, ideally with staff in background; outside the business, with the store name visible in background; or on the street where the business is located). The video testimonial can range from just 30 seconds to two minutes in length. In the video, booksellers should be sure to include their name, the name of the store, and where it is located. Videos should be e-mailed to Grogan at dave@bookweb.org.  Booksellers should also send their video testimony to their own members of Congress.

“I realize there have been many ‘asks’ in the campaign for sales tax fairness, but we believe this communication to the Judiciary Committee is that important,” Grogan said.

Booksellers who have questions regarding sales tax fairness or about creating a testimonial should contact Grogan at dave@bookweb.org or (800) 637-0037, ext. 7562.