In response to the reintroduction of the Marketplace Fairness Act in the U.S. Senate today, Stacy Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance released the following statement:
“It’s high time that Congress stand up for independent retailers and a level playing field. For nearly two decades, Congress has undermined the viability of local brick-and-mortar businesses by conferring a major competitive advantage on their large online rivals. Exempting internet retailers like Amazon from having to collect sales taxes effectively gives these companies a 4 to 12 percent price advantage over local stores.
“Amazon now captures more than one-third of online shopping and ranks as one of the top ten retailers in the country. It hardly warrants special favors.
“Although a growing number of states are taking steps to extend sales taxes to online retailers that have in-state sales affiliates, fully resolving the sales tax disparity depends on Congressional action.
“The Marketplace Fairness Act would, at long last, allow local retailers, which contribute significantly to the economic health of their communities, to compete on a level playing field.”
Stacy Mitchell directs the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s program on Independent Business and is the author of Big-Box Swindle. ILSR is a 38-year-old national nonprofit research and educational organization that works to support strong, community rooted, environmentally sound and equitable local economies. More at http://www.ilsr.org.