Obama backs Marketplace Fairness bill
Publish Date: April 23, 2013
The ICSC-backed Marketplace Fairness Act, which would require online retailers to collect state sales taxes, took a big step forward Monday: President Barack threw his support behind the bill, and the Senate voted 74-20 to debate it.
States could gain some $24 billion that currently goes uncollected if the bill passes, according to some estimates. ICSC and other organizations have long lobbied for such legislation, arguing that online retailers enjoy an unfair advantage over physical stores, because the latter are required to collect state sales taxes.
“This puts an unfair burden on landlords and tenants, and it hurts municipalities and states too by depriving them of sales tax funding, ”said Michael P. Kercheval, ICSC’s president and CEO. “This is not a new tax. All we are asking is that an existing tax be collected in a fair and orderly way.”
The Senate could vote on the measure within days, observers say, after which the bill’s fate will move to the House. Obama said the Marketplace Fairness Act “will level the playing field for local small business retailers that are in competition every day with large out-of-state online companies.”