America's Retailers Praise Illinois Governor Pat Quinn for Signing e-Fairness Legislation

Mar 10, 2011, 14:57 ET from Retail Industry Leaders Association

Legislation addresses online sales tax loophole, helps level playing field for Illinois retailers

ARLINGTON, Va., March 10, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) praised Illinois Governor Pat Quinn today for signing legislation that addresses the long-standing inequity in the retail sales industry between brick-and-mortar retailers and their online-only counterparts.  RILA President Sandy Kennedy commended Governor Quinn for signing the bill and addressed the concern many have over whether Amazon and other online retailers will simply terminate their relationships with Illinois businesses in order to keep their loophole:

"Governor Quinn has taken a bold step today to help level the playing field for retailers in Illinois.  Whether a sale happens in a store or online, the sales tax collected should be the same.  It's time to end the special treatment given to online-only retailers.

"Retailers compete on price 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  That competition needs to be on an even playing field.  Today, online-only retailers selling into Illinois are not required to collect the sales tax, a decades-old loophole that pre-dates the Internet itself and gives them an arbitrary advantage over stores that operate in our communities."  

On the question of whether Amazon and other online-only retailers will fire their affiliates in Illinois to avoid collecting sales tax:

"If Amazon chooses to terminate its relationships with Illinois businesses in order to continue dodging sales tax laws, that's a short-sighted decision, but its Amazon's to make.  America's largest brick-and-mortar companies are expanding their affiliate programs should Amazon abandon its partners in Illinois.  Main Street retailers employ more than 590,000 workers in Illinois — and we're not leaving."

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