Thursday, May 9, 2013

Tell Congress to Oppose the So-Called Marketplace Fairness Act!

I am writing today to express my disapproval of the proposed Internet Sales Tax. The internet tax would force many small business owners to become tax collectors for every state across America and open them up to audits and litigation in states hundreds of miles away from where they live and work.

How many State tax forms do you fill out? How would you feel if you had to fill out one for every state that has a sales tax? Even with software to figure out how much is owed in about
9600 jurisdictions, it is still time consuming.

Senator Durbin stated Monday that "If you don't wish to sell to residents in IL, then don't". Sellers on ebay and Amazon are not allowed to do that. And many of them are Mom & Pop type businesses that operate out of their home.

States have some crazy laws out there. Currently in New Jersey, bottled water and cookies are exempt from sales tax, but bottled soda and candy are taxable. In Rhode Island, buying a mink handbag is taxed but a mink fur coat is not. In Pennsylvania, baby bottles are taxed, but baby bottle nipples are not. Complying with an internet sales tax is not as easy as it sounds!

Foreign sellers are not included in this bill, and there would be no way to enforce it if it were. So instead of shifting sales from online to brick and mortar retail stores, it might suceed in shifting them from US online merchants to foreign ones!

This proposal also raises privacy concerns. In order to collect the proposed remote sales tax, businesses would be forced to send personal information about their businesses to a host of state revenue departments, instead of just the one in their home state. And in the case of an audit, businesses would have to demonstrate where purchases came from, which affects customers' privacy.

I have many other concerns about this proposed legislation, but bottom line it is a bad idea, a bad bill and it will harm small businesses. The 1 million dollar threshold is way too low, and as it stands now is not tied to inflation. It encourages bigger government and more intrusion into our lives.

Please take a few minutes to go to and contact your representative and tell them to  oppose the Marketplace Fairness Act.

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