Support Urged for Main Street Fairness Act

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This week, the American Booksellers Association sent an e-mail urging its bookstore members nationwide to write to both their U.S. representatives and senators in support of the Main Street Fairness Act (H.R. 5660). The legislation, which is sponsored by Rep. William Delahunt (D-MA), would authorize the 24 states that are part of the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA) to require remote retailers to collect and remit sales tax on orders in their states. If enacted, this legislation would level the playing field for indie bookstores and other Main Street businesses.

The Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA) seeks to simplify and modernize sales and use tax collection and administration to make it much easier for online retailers to collect sales tax. To date, SSUTA’s 24 participating states have simplified and streamlined their sales tax laws under the compact’s uniform set of guidelines. The Main Street Fairness Act, Rep. Delahunt noted, provides congressional authority for this interstate compact to take effect. The legislation does not compel any state to join, but any state that adopts this system would then have the authority to require online retailers to collect and remit sales taxes.

To make it easier for booksellers to call or e-mail their legislators in support of the Main Street Fairness Act, ABA has prepared a template letter that can be adapted and e-mailed or that can be used as a source for talking points when booksellers call their legislators. The letter can be found in ABA’s E-Fairness Action Kit under each state name. Booksellers residing in Congressman Delahunt’s district are encouraged to thank him for introducing H.R. 5660. ABA also asked that booksellers notify David Grogan at dave@bookweb.org or (800) 637-0037, ext 6662, when they have sent a letter. This will help ABA compile information to support its lobbying efforts.