State Lawmakers Comment on Need for E-fairness Legislation



Washington, D.C.– The Committee on Judiciary in the U.S. House of Representatives held a hearing Wednesday to discuss e-fairness legislation, which aims to close a loophole that allows online sellers to avoid charging sales tax in states where they do not have any physical stores or warehouses.

The National Conference of State Legislatures, a staunch supporter of e-fairness legislation, estimates that state and local revenue losses for remote commerce were more than $23 billion in 2012.

State Senator Deb Peters (R-S.D.) said: “Why should there be an unfair advantage for businesses who do not contribute to the local community? E-fairness is about leveling the playing field with the big box online stores and the brick-and-mortar Main Street stores. We appreciate Chairman Goodlatte and the House Judiciary Committee for hosting this very important hearing and look forward to moving e-fairness legislation through the House and closing this loophole that discriminates against our Main Street businesses.”

State Senator Sharon Weston Broome (D-La.) said: “This hearing brings to light the unfair advantage against our locally owned retailers. E-fairness is simply about jobs and placing every retailer on the same set of rules. In 2012, my state of Louisiana was estimated to have lost more than $808 million to out of state sales. Simply put, this is revenue that could have gone to education or to repair roads and bridges throughout our state.”

Read the complete joint statement to the House Judiciary Committee, information detailing state revenue losses and state activity in the area of remote sales tax collection

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.