Arlington, Va. -- The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) applauded reintroduction of federal legislation introduced today that closes the decades-old loophole that gives special treatment to online-only retailers.
In a letter to Senate and House sponsors of the Marketplace Fairness Act, RILA EVP for public affairs Katherine Lugar, highlighted the need for a level playing field: "The retail industry has always been fiercely competitive with merchants competing every day for consumer dollars based on price, value, services and other factors. But today, Main Street merchants compete on a playing field that has been skewed against them due to a loophole that allows online-only retailers to evade collecting state sales taxes. This practice has given these sellers a perceived price advantage of up to 10%, a competitive edge that results in government policy picking winners and losers in the free market."
Encouraging lawmakers to act in 2013 on this important priority for the retail industry, Lugar touted the legislation's broad bipartisan appeal and its importance to local communities: "This state's rights approach has the blessing of governors and state legislators throughout the country, in addition to the Main Street merchants who invest locally by hiring employees, paying property taxes and contributing to their communities."