By Lars Etzkorn
Just before departing Washington for a two week recess, the Senate passed an amendment to the FY2014 Budget Resolution by a vote of 75 - 24 that puts the Senate on record as supporting the Marketplace Fairness Act. NLC applauded the 75 Senators who supported the amendment in a statement last Friday.
Although the vote was only a test and does not have the force of law since the Budget Resolution is a non-binding document, the amendment is a good method to show that the Senate has 60-plus votes needed to pass the actual legislation later this year.
Here's a link to the roll call vote. Be sure to thank those Senators who supported the amendment and continue to lobby those who voted against the amendment.
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creates exciting new marketplaces, it has also put traditional retail outlets at an unfair disadvantage because of outdated and inequitable tax and regulatory environments. The Supreme Court's decision in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, 504 U.S. 298 (1992), left state and 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. The Marketplace Fairness Act would overrule the Court's decision and enable local and state governments to collect taxes already owed on Internet and mail order sales amounting to $23 billion annually.
NLC will continue to partner in the coming weeks with House and Senate champions for the legislation to see that it becomes law.