WASHINGTON, June 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) released the results of a Maine-specific survey finding that an overwhelming 87% of respondents feel it would be far easier to pay sales tax on online purchases at the point-of-purchase. The survey was conducted on the heels of the 2011 tax season to specifically gauge Maine consumers' sentiment about online sales and use tax collection. ICSC strongly supports two bills currently under consideration in Congress – Marketplace Fairness Act and Marketplace Equity Act – which are designed to save consumers the burden of self-reporting use taxes and to level the playing field for all retailers.
"The results of this study demonstrate that Maine consumers support a tax policy that benefits both their retail habits and embraces 21st Century commerce," said Michael Kercheval, president and CEO of ICSC. "The bills in Congress will give the state of Maine the right to decide for itself whether to collect – or not to collect – state sales taxes that are already owed. This will not only benefit Maine consumers, who will no longer need to file a year's worth of receipts for online purchases during tax season, but will also level the playing field for all retailers in Maine and raise much needed revenue for services and programs."
The results of the ICSC survey of Maine consumers identified a number of key findings, including:
- 87% feel it would be easier to pay sales tax on online purchases at the point-of-purchase rather than at the end-of-the-year on their tax forms, as is the current system.
- 67% understand that they are required to pay state sales or use tax on online purchases if not collected by the vendor when they file their state income tax.
- Although only 39% are aware that Federal legislation is pending in Congress, 50% support the Congressional effort to require online retailers to collect sales tax at the point-of-purchase.
"Consumers in Maine clearly understand that this is not a new tax and want the convenience of collecting sales tax at the point-of-purchase," said Betsy Laird, senior vice president of global public policy. When they shop online they do not want the hassle of having to save all receipts, calculate the appropriate tax due and file it directly with the state. It is very encouraging to see the tremendous amount of support in Maine for a federal solution to address our outdated, overly complicated and blatantly unfair sales tax system," added Laird.
ICSC has promoted sales tax fairness for over a decade, advocating that a "sale is a sale" regardless of whether the purchase takes place on Main Street, at shopping centers, via mail-order or over the Internet. For more information about sales tax fairness and how the current sales tax system is unable to support the 21st Century retail marketplace please visit www.21stcenturyretail.org.
Founded in 1957, ICSC is the premier global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 55,000 members in over 90 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, retailers and brokers, as well as academics and public officials. As the global industry trade association, ICSC links with more than 25 national and regional shopping center councils throughout the world. For more information, visit www.icsc.org.
About the Survey
This survey was conducted on behalf of ICSC by Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) using a computer assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) system randomly selected from a national probability sample of 245 adults comprising 127 men and 118 women 18 years of age and older, living in private households in Maine. Interviewing for this survey was completed during the period May 3-6 and May 9-13, 2012.
SOURCE International Council of Shopping Centers