The Retail Industry Leaders Association's (RILA) top legislative priority for 2012 is to level the playing field between online retailers and Main Street retailers as it relates to sales tax collection. In connection with that initiative, RILA has distributed copies of the 2012 Retail Industry Leaders Association Agenda: A Roadmap for Job Creation to congressional offices. The organization drew specific attention to the sales tax issue in letters to Committee leaders.
The laws governing sales tax collection put Main Street retailers at a competitive disadvantage to their online-only competitors. Specifically, online retailers are exempted in many states from collecting the sales tax owed on purchases made online, resulting in a perceived price advantage.
In a letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the House Judiciary and Senate Finance Committee, RILA urged speedy consideration of two bipartisan bills introduced late last year, the Marketplace Fairness Act, S. 1832 and the Marketplace Equity Act, H.R. 3179.
"The role that Main Street retailers play in the economy is enormous, but the laws governing sales tax collection put them at a distinct disadvantage to online-only retailers, threatening their ability to grow and create jobs," said RILA President Sandy Kennedy. "Quite simply, the government is giving Amazon.com a special deal that gives them an unfair advantage over local businesses. This simply isn't fair."
The broader RILA Legislative agenda highlights the industry's top priorities and the steps that RILA will take in 2012 address them.
RILA's 2012 legislative priorities:
• E-Fairness - Level the playing field for Main Street retailers and give states the right to enforce their sales tax laws online.
• Labor Regulations - Stop job-killing NLRB regulations that create ambush elections and mini-bargaining units.
• Tax Reform - Pass comprehensive tax reform that lowers rates and simplifies compliance for corporations and individuals.
• Swipe Fee Reform - Extend debit swipe fee reforms to credit cards.
• Health Care Reform - Protect employer-based health care coverage.
• Trade - Pursue the adoption of simple, flexible rules of origin for apparel as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
• Privacy - Promote a self-regulatory model to consumer privacy that recognizes the needs and expectations of consumers.
"Our job is to tackle the big issues our members face and deliver victories that benefit them and their customers," said Kennedy. "With the support of our members we'll have the strategy and resources needed to achieve these ambitious goals."
Click here to view the 2012 RILA Legislative Agenda.
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