White House Endorses Sales Tax Fairness

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On Monday, April 22, the campaign for sales tax fairness made significant strides forward. During the day, the White House endorsed the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 (S.743), which would give states the authority to require remote sellers to collect and remit sales tax in the state, so long as the seller does more than $1 million in remote gross sales annually. Later on Monday, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to move the bill to the Senate floor for debate.

“This administration has carefully considered the legislation, and our team has met with a broad array of people on the issue,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, as reported by The Hill. “And we have heard overwhelmingly from governors, mayors, and the business community on the need for federal legislation to level the playing field for our businesses and address sales tax fairness.”

Carney added that S.743 would also correct an unfair advantage currently held by online retailers, who are not required to collect and remit sales tax in states unless they have a physical presence in the state.

“Because these out-of-state companies are able to cut corners and play by a different set of rules, the cities and states lose out on funding for K-12 education, police and fire protection, access to affordable health care, and funding for roads and bridges,” Carney noted.

On Monday evening, following the endorsement from the Obama Administration, S.743 overwhelmingly passed a cloture vote, which allows debate to move forward. The tally of the cloture vote was 74-20.

In an e-mail sent to ABA bookstore members on Tuesday, April 23, ABA CEO Oren Teicher wrote, “With this vote, we have cleared a very important hurdle,” and he urged booksellers to contact their senators in support of the Act.