Retailers praise broad, bipartisan support in the United States Senate
ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Advocates for a level playing field between traditional brick-and-mortar retailers and their online-only competitors got a huge boost today as a broad bipartisan group of Senators announced their support for federal e-fairness legislation. The Marketplace Fairness Act was introduced on the Senate floor this morning by Sens. Mike Enzi (R-WY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Tim Johnson (D-SD). Senate action on e-fairness comes less than a month after bipartisan introduction of similar legislation in the House that would end the special treatment afforded online retailers like Amazon.com that allows them to forgo collection of state sales tax.
"A true free market is devoid of government preferences and special treatment," said Katherine Lugar, Executive Vice President for Public Affairs at the Retail Industry Leaders Association. "The Marketplace Fairness Act will get government out of the way, restore the free market and close the loophole that has given an unfair advantage to online retailers like Amazon.com for over a decade."
Joining as original cosponsors of the Senate bill are Sens. John Boozman (R-AR), Jack Reed (D- RI), Bob Corker (R-TN), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).
"Support is growing for a bipartisan solution that levels the playing field for all retailers and gives states the authority to control their own sales tax structure," said Lugar. "This legislation is one part fairness and one part states' rights—it just makes sense for Congress to act."
In a letter to the super committee, RILA encouraged lawmakers to consider including e-fairness language in the final product that will be presented to lawmakers later this month. Regardless of whether that happens, the days of special treatment for online retailers like Amazon.com are numbered.
"Bipartisan momentum in the Senate is proof that this issue can and will be resolved once and for all," said Lugar. "Retailers and advocates for a true free market are one step closer to a comprehensive solution that levels the playing field and gets government out of the business of picking winners and losers."
Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) is a trade association of the largest and most successful companies in the retail industry. Its member companies include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales. RILA members operate more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers, have facilities in all 50 states, and provide millions of jobs domestically and worldwide.
SOURCE Retail Industry Leaders Association