Tax Reform and E-Fairness Top RILA's 2013 Legislative Agenda

Feb 05, 2013, 09:15 ET from Retail Industry Leaders Association

RILA Spells out Top Public Policy Goals for 2013

ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Retail Industry Leaders Association's (RILA) top public policy priorities for 2013 are the passage of comprehensive tax reform and to finish the job leveling the playing field between online retailers and Main Street retailers as it relates to sales tax collection.

RILA distributed copies of the Retail Industry Leaders Association 2013 Public Policy Agenda: Empowering Retailers and Consumers to Grow the Economy today to congressional offices.

"Consumers and retailers can propel growth when the economic and regulatory environment empowers them to do so. However, when those forces discourage consumer spending and retail investment, economic growth sputters, much as it is doing today. Consumers lack the confidence needed to drive substantial growth and disparate treatment under the tax code and a morass of regulations undermine retailers' ability to invest, grow and add jobs. More must be done to unleash the power of consumers and retailers to get our economy growing again," said RILA President Sandy Kennedy in a letter to Members of Congress.

As the representative of America's largest and most innovative retailers, RILA has successfully led a number of recent efforts to address key industry priorities, including the passage of debit swipe fee reform.

RILA's top priorities in 2013 will be to pursue the passage of comprehensive tax reform and to build on the accomplishments of the past two years to pass comprehensive federal e-fairness legislation.

The retail industry pays among the highest domestic effective tax rates at 36.4.percent, more than 10 percentage points higher than the average for all other industries. Further, the same compliance challenges that burden retailers burden their customers and small businesses. Tax reform that substantially reduces the corporate rate, treats all businesses the same and simplifies the system for all taxpayers, will put more money in consumers' pockets and allow businesses to invest and grow.

The laws governing sales tax collection put Main Street retailers at a competitive disadvantage to their online-only competitors. Specifically, online retailers are exempted in many states from collecting the sales tax owed on purchases made online, resulting in a perceived price advantage. Because of public pressure brought to bear by RILA and its partners, will be required to collect sales tax in over 50 percent of the U.S. consumer market by the end of this year.

"RILA's 2013 Public Policy Agenda focuses on those steps that policymakers can take this year to empower consumers and retailers to spend, invest and grow," Kennedy told lawmakers. "We look forward to working with you in the coming months to achieve our shared goals of economic growth and prosperity."

RILA's 2013 Public Policy priorities:

  • Tax Reform - Pass comprehensive tax reform that lowers rates and simplifies compliance for corporations, consumers and small businesses.
  • E-Fairness - Level the playing field for Main Street retailers and give states the right to enforce their sales tax laws online.
  • Health Care - Protect retailers' ability to continue to offer employees quality health coverage.
  • Labor - Stop job-killing labor regulations that create micro-unions and ambush elections.
  • Privacy - Promote a self-regulatory model to consumer privacy that recognizes the needs and expectations of consumers.
  • Swipe Fee Reform - Extend debit swipe fee reforms to credit cards.
  • Trade - Pursue the adoption of simple, flexible rules of origin for apparel as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the expansion of the Information Technology Agreement.

To view the 2013 RILA Legislative Agenda visit or click here

RILA is the trade association of the world's largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

SOURCE Retail Industry Leaders Association