Victory! Illinois Governor Signs Sales Tax Fairness Bill

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In what is a significant victory for sales tax fairness, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn today signed sales tax fairness legislation into law. HB3659 will require remote retailers with broad networks of online affiliates in Illinois to collect and remit sales tax for purchases made by Illinois residents.

Following the bill’s signing, American Booksellers Association CEO Oren Teicher strongly praised the governor’s leadership role in helping to ensure that Main Street businesses continue as engines of innovation, growth, and job creation.

“We applaud Gov. Quinn for standing up for bricks-and-mortar retailers,” said Teicher. “This is not only a huge victory for retailers in Illinois, but also for bricks-and-mortar retailers in other states where there is no sales tax equity. The enactment of this legislation means the retail marketplace in Illinois will be competitive and fair, and we believe this victory will also bolster sales tax fairness efforts in other states. This campaign was clearly won through the stalwart efforts of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and through the grassroots efforts of a large and diverse array of retailers in the state. We especially thank our independent bookstore members in Illinois for their tremendous outreach efforts, from letter-writing campaigns to face-to-face meetings with legislators and the governor’s staff.”

“I can’t thank you enough, Gov. Quinn, for signing HB3659,” said Becky Anderson, co-owner of Anderson’s Bookshops in Naperville, Downers Grove, and Aurora, Illinois, and ABA vice president. “I speak for all of the independent bookstores in Illinois and small businesses that collect sales tax in the state. The governor’s support of this bill will level the playing field for all of us who have bricks-and-mortar businesses in this state. The tax avoidance being practiced by out of state-retailers will no longer put small businesses in Illinois at an unfair competitive disadvantage. By signing this legislation, Gov. Quinn has helped Main Street businesses like mine and thousands of others. He has helped to increase jobs in the state for tax-compliant retailers and helped to secure needed revenue for our state and communities.”

Gov. Quinn’s signing of sales tax fairness legislation followed threats on the part of to fire its affiliates in Illinois if HB3569 became law.

ABA’s Teicher praised Gov. Quinn for his leadership on this issue. “By signing this legislation, the governor is supporting the state’s economy by protecting retailers and the countless jobs they provide to the state,” he said. “Those companies that would fire their affiliates simply to maintain an inequitable competitive advantage over retailers that obey the law clearly show their true colors. A belief that laws apply only to those who are smaller or who are unwilling to resort to threats or loopholes is characteristic of the worst sort of corporate citizen. We certainly hope companies like rethink their decision to fire affiliates, and we remain grateful that the governor took the tough, principled stand on behalf of in-state retailers. We hope other states follow his lead.”

Other sales tax fairness measures are currently being considered in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Vermont.