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May 6, 2013

NCSL Thanks Senators for Passing Marketplace Fairness Act

Next Step, House of Representatives

WASHINGTON, D.C.–The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) thanks the senators who voted today in favor of the Marketplace Fairness Act. With strong bipartisan support, the bill passed 69 to 27. NCSL urges the U.S. House of Representatives to follow suit and send this important legislation to President Obama’s desk for him to sign into law.

“Today’s vote is an indication that senators listened to their state legislators, mayors, governors and other state and local officials. We have been urging Congress to pass this critical legislation for over a decade, and I’m gratified by the big step we have taken today in the U.S. Senate,” said NCSL Executive Director William T. Pound. “With the president ready to sign the bill, our next and final step will be passing the Marketplace Fairness Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. Given the strong bipartisan support for the bill, I’m optimistic we can keep this momentum going and pass the bill in the House.”

In December 2012, NCSL held a bipartisan advocacy day on Capitol Hill urging members of Congress to support the Marketplace Fairness Act. Hundreds of state legislators from around the country traveled to Washington, D.C., to bring their message to Congress. In their meetings with members of Congress, state legislators emphasized how their local business owners are suffering under the current competitive disadvantage, and how their state budgets are being adversely affected. In 2012 alone, it was estimated states lost out on a collective $23 billion as a result of not being able to collect sales tax revenue on remote sales.

Contrary to some claims, the Marketplace Fairness Act is not a new tax. The sales taxes at issue are already legally owed, but unless a remote seller has a physical presence in the state where the item is being purchased, the remote seller is not currently required to collect and remit the sales taxes. The Marketplace Fairness Act fixes this tax avoidance problem and allows states to require remote sellers with more than $1 million in out-of-state sales annually to collect sales taxes.

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.