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NRF Welcomes Introduction of Marketplace Fairness Act

For Immediate Release
Stephen E. Schatz (202) 626-8119
SchatzS@NRF.com

NRF Welcomes Introduction of Marketplace Fairness Act

WASHINGTON, February 14, 2013 – The National Retail Federation today welcomed the introduction of the Marketplace Fairness Act, saying that the new bipartisan and bicameral bill demonstrates progress on moving sales tax fairness legislation this session.

“For far too long local retailers and small business owners have been saddled with a competitive disadvantage with online retailers - sales taxes,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said. “While store owners collect and remit state and local sales taxes their digital competitors are off the hook – and benefiting because of it.”

“This sales tax disparity hinders community-based retailers, hurts Main Street jobs, and has lead to a $24 billion loss for state and local governments,” French said. “As e-commerce and m-commerce continue to increase in market share, it’s time Congress allows all retailers to compete on the same playing field.”

The Marketplace Fairness Act seeks to close the sales tax disparity by granting states the authority to require remote and online sellers to collect sales and use tax at the point of purchase. The bill specifies that states would need to simplify and streamline their sales and use tax definitions and obligations before implementation, and provide sellers with free software to help them comply.

“This bill grants states the ability to collect taxes that are already owed,” French said. “The Marketplace Fairness Act reinforces free and fair competition in the marketplace, protects states’ rights, and brings much-needed simplification to the nation’s complex sales tax system. NRF has long-supported a federal solution to address the sales tax disparity that is flexible enough for states to implement and easy enough for small businesses to comply with.”

To advance this retail priority, NRF has joined with other stakeholders, including the International Council of Shopping Centers, National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, and Retail Industry Leaders Association to form the Marketplace Fairness Coalition, which is dedicated to advancing the Marketplace Fairness Act.

As the world’s largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad. Retailers operate more than 3.6 million U.S. establishments that support one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s Retail Means Jobs campaign emphasizes the economic importance of retail and encourages policymakers to support a Jobs, Innovation and Consumer Value Agenda aimed at boosting economic growth and job creation. www.nrf.com

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