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RILA To Press Congress On E-Fairness At Hearing

Arlington, Va. — The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) will press the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary to act quickly to level the playing field between brick-and-mortar retailers and remote sellers, protect states’ rights, and remove undue government influence from the economy.

Testimony was submitted in advance of today’s hearing titled, “Exploring Alternative Solutions on the Internet Sales Tax Issue,” which will explore solutions to the top priority of the retail industry.

“A sale is a sale. Whether it takes place online or at a local business, the same tax rules should apply online as they do on Main Street. Common sense would dictate that if a product is purchased online, the retailer should collect and remit sales tax to the customer’s state, just as is the case when a customer goes to a store in person,” said Bill Hughes, government affairs senior VP with RILA.

“Unless the current system is corrected, local retailers — big and small — will increasingly be forced to close their doors, taking with them the millions of retail jobs they provide as these businesses are punished for following the law while their online competitors are exempted,” he added.

Referencing a 2013 study by conservative economist Dr. Arthur Laffer, the RILA testimony highlights the potential for a legislative solution that frees states to reduce taxes, a move that Dr. Laffer estimated will grow the economy by $563 billion and create 1.5 million jobs over the next 10 years.

Last year, Governor’s Scott Walker (R-Wis.) and John Kasich (R-Ohio), signed into law measures that would obligate revenue generated from the collection of remote sales taxes to a reduction in their states’ income tax.

The hearing follows the release of a series of principles on a solution to the issue facing Main Street retailers by the Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.). Last year, the Senate passed legislation to allow states to enforce existing laws and collect taxes already owed by a wide bipartisan margin.

The complete testimony can be found here.