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  • Jane Andrade
    Director of Public Affairs
  • Jon Kuhl
    Public Affairs & Media Manager
    Washington, D.C.
Feb. 14, 2013

NCSL Announces Support for Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013, Calls on Congress to Pass

Bill Will 'Level the Playing Field' for Local Business Owners

Washington, D.C. – The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) strongly supports the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 that was introduced today in the United States Senate and House of Representatives. A similar version of the bill had been introduced in the 112th Congress.

“The time to act on this bill is now. There is bipartisan support for the bill in statehouses across the country and in Congress. It is my hope that this Congress will pass this bill promptly and send it to the president to sign into law,” said Senator Pamela Althoff (R-Ill.), co-chair of the NCSL Task Force on State and Local Taxation.

“The Marketplace Fairness Act is critical to our communities because it levels the playing field for local business owners. It’s not fair to my local bookstore that I can buy the same book online as I can in the store, yet not have to pay sales taxes online. This bill rectifies this unfairness,” said Delegate Sheila Hixon (D-Md.), co-chair of the NCSL Task Force on State and Local Taxation.

In December 2012, NCSL held a bipartisan advocacy day on Capitol Hill urging members of Congress to support e-fairness legislation. Hundreds of state legislators from around the country traveled to Washington, D.C., to bring their message to Congress.

In 2012 alone, it was estimated states lost out on a collective $23 billion dollars as a result of not being able to collect sales tax revenue on remote sales. As Congress considers spending cuts that will affect states, passing the Marketplace Fairness Act is a way for Congress to offset these cuts.

“The revenue states are losing out on is legally owed, but because of a pre-Internet Supreme Court ruling, states aren’t able to collect it. The Marketplace Fairness Act fixes a tax avoidance problem,” said Senator Deb Peters (R-S.D.), vice chair of the NCSL Task Force on State and Local Taxation.

The Marketplace Fairness Act includes a provision that exempts businesses with online revenues of up to $1 million annually from having to collect remote seller sales taxes.

The Marketplace Fairness Act’s bipartisan sponsors include U.S. Senators Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), and U.S. Representatives Steve Womack (R-Ark.), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.).

NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.