WASHINGTON, Nov. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) released the results of a Virginia-specific poll that shows that fully seven in ten Virginia voters support federal legislation that requires online-only sellers to collect sales tax at the time of purchase.
"Virginians of all ages, from different walks of life and across the political spectrum overwhelmingly agree that leveling the playing field to support the shopping center industry in its essential role as stewards of economic development and prosperity for their local communities is of paramount importance," said Tom McGee, president and CEO of ICSC. "The findings show that a significant majority of Virginians support federal legislation and with precious few legislative days left in 2015, it is time for Congress to make efairness a reality this year."
The poll also found that the current system, which requires brick-and-mortar retailers to collect sales tax and allows online-only sellers to avoid this responsibility, is seen as inherently unfair; providing a significant competitive advantage to out-of-state merchants over local businesses.
The poll identified a number of key findings, including:
- 70% of registered voters in Virginia support federal legislation that would require online-only sellers to collect sales tax at the time of purchase, up from 66% in 2014;
- 86% of registered voters in Virginia think it would be easier to collect sales tax from online-only sellers at the time of purchase, up from 81% in 2014;
- 89% of registered voters in Virginia say local retailers are important to their community's economic health, up from 86% in 2014.
"It is abundantly clear that when Virginians understand their current tax liability for online purchases they overwhelmingly support federal legislation that streamlines and simplifies the sales tax collection process," said Betsy Laird, senior vice president of Global Public Policy for ICSC.
ICSC has promoted efairness for more than a decade, advocating that a "sale is a sale" regardless of whether the purchase takes place on Main Street, at shopping centers, or over the Internet. For more information about efairness and how the current sales tax system is unable to support the 21st century retail marketplace, please visit efairness.org.
Founded in 1957, ICSC is the global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 70,000 members in over 100 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, investors, retailers, brokers, academics, and public officials. The shopping center industry is essential to economic development and opportunity. They are a significant job creator, driver of GDP, and critical revenue source for the communities they serve through the generation of sales taxes and the payment of property taxes. These taxes fund important municipal services like firefighters, police officers, school services, and infrastructure like roadways and parks. Shopping centers aren't only fiscal engines however; they are integral to the social fabric of their communities by providing a central place to congregate with friends and family, discuss community matters, and participate in and encourage philanthropic endeavors. For more information about ICSC visit www.icsc.org and for the latest news from ICSC and the industry go to www.thecenterofshopping.com.
About the Survey
Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) conducted a survey among two national probability samples, which, when combined, consists of 273 adults, 132 men and 141 women 18 years of age and older, living in the continental United States. Interviewing for this CARAVAN® Survey was completed on September 10-15, 2015. 163 interviews were from the landline sample and 110 interviews from the cell phone sample.
SOURCE International Council of Shopping Centers