NLC Calls on Congress to End the Online Sales Tax 'Break'

February 19, 2013

By Lars Etzkorn

Last week bipartisan legislation was introduced in both Houses of Congress to allow state and local governments to collect an estimated $23 billion in online sales taxes, thus ending the online sales tax 'break.'

NLC calls on Congress to act on a fast tract for approval, after similar bills languished in past sessions of Congress.

While the internet creates exciting new marketplaces, it has also put traditional retail outlets at an unfair disadvantage because of outdated and inequitable tax and regulatory environments. In 1992, the Supreme Court left local governments unable to adequately enforce their existing sales tax laws on sales by out-of-state catalog and online sellers. The Court, however, explicitly stated that Congress had the constitutional authority to enact legislation overruling its decision.

"We support quick adoption of the Marketplace Fairness Act, which helps main street retailers by putting them on an equal footing with their online counterparts," said Marie Lopez Rogers, president of NLC and mayor of Avondale, AZ. "The bills also gives back control to local governments over their own resources, by removing another obstacle from Washington that prevents local governments from deciding what is best for their governments."

"We need local officials throughout the country to help get Marketplace signed into law," says Clarence Anthony, NLC executive director. "If your state has an original co-sponsor please thank them. If not, please ask your Members of Congress to join as a co-sponsor."

To see a list of the bill's current co-sponsors, please click here.

Details: For more information visit our resource page on Ending the Online Sales Tax 'Break.'