Despite making significant progress in the legislature, it appears that sales tax equity legislation will not come to a vote in Arizona. This week, a sales tax fairness amendment to an Arizona House of Representatives bill (HB 2341) – which would have required remote retailers with nexus in the state through a broad network of online affiliates to collect and remit sales tax – was dropped, reportedly due to a lack of support from Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. It is expected that the e-fairness issue will be taken up again in the next legislative session.
While expressing disappointment with the recent legislative events, ABA CEO Oren Teicher praised the leadership of Michelle Ahlmer, executive director of the Arizona Retailers Association, and the advocacy efforts of Changing Hands Bookstore and other retailers, and he noted that the groundwork has been laid for a successful effort next year. “As we know from experience, it is much easier to defeat a bill than to pass one,” Teicher said. “Successful advocacy more often than not takes time. That said, our coalition made exceptional headway this year and garnered support on both sides of the political aisle. We believe we have significantly advanced the cause of e-fairness in Arizona and are very optimistic about the prospects of passing legislation next year.”
The sales tax fairness bill was initially introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Jim Weiers as HB2551. However, despite having strong support in the state House, the bill was left off the House Rules Agenda and rendered effectively dead. Afterwards, the bill’s language was added as an amendment to HB 2341, which was under consideration in the Senate. The language was cut when it was learned that Gov. Brewer was not supportive of the bill.