Marketplace Fairness Hearing is a Turning Point to Level Playing Field for Businesses and Local Governments

Washington, D.C.  – National League of Cities (NLC) President Chris Coleman, Mayor of Saint Paul, Minn., released this statement on the March 12 House Judiciary Committee hearing on “Exploring Alternative Solutions on the Internet Sales Tax Issue”:

“Our nation’s cities rely heavily on sales taxes to fund vital programs and services that serve our communities. Marketplace Fairness is not about enacting new taxes; rather, it levels the playing field for Main Street business to compete with online retailers and allows city governments to collect taxes that are already owed.

“Cities need a Marketplace Fairness bill this year that protects the brick-and-mortar businesses that are an important part of a vibrant community. Our cities’ businesses provide a foundation for local economies by employing many of our residents, giving back to charities and community organizations and providing a variety of choices for consumers. But with today’s unequal tax rules for online purchases, local businesses are struggling to compete with their online counterparts.

“We thank Chairman Goodlatte and the House Judiciary Committee for holding this hearing today because we hope it marks a turning point in the decades-long fight to give back control to local governments over their own resources and will remove another barrier from Washington that prevents local governments from deciding what is best for their community. Congress now has a clear path to move forward with legislation that will level the playing field for all sellers, increase competition and strengthen the sales tax base for local governments.”

NLC, National Governors Association, National Conference of State Legislatures, The Council of State Governments, National Association of Counties, The United States Conference of Mayors and International City/Council Management Association today sent this letter to Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers. 

The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.