SOURCE: Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA)

June 29, 2012 10:54 ET

Amazon Begins Texas Sales Tax Collection Sunday, July 1

California and Pennsylvania Collection Begins in September, Time for Congress to Act

ARLINGTON, VA--(Marketwire - June 29, 2012) -  Advocates for a level playing field between traditional brick-and-mortar retailers and their online-only competitors are celebrating a huge win this week as online-only retailer Amazon.com begins to collect the state sales tax in Texas starting July 1. 

"A true free market is devoid of government preferences and special treatment," said Sandy Kennedy, President the Retail Industry Leaders Association. "Texas has made a powerful statement that its time to end special treatment for online retailers and close the sales tax loophole that gives companies like Amazon an artificial leg up on Main Street retailers."

Eight states have followed Texas' lead and passed legislation or taken administrative action in the past year to help level the retail playing field by requiring online retailers like Amazon to collect sales tax. California and Pennsylvania are next up, with both states requiring Amazon to collect sales tax in September. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell recently struck agreements with Amazon in their respective states, with Amazon beginning sales tax collection next year. 

"States are leading the charge to level the playing field, but can only go so far to close the sales tax loophole on their own -- it's time for Congress to act," said Kennedy. "Congress should act this year to pass the Marketplace Equity Act in the House, and the Marketplace Fairness Act in the Senate." 

To date, fifteen Republican governors have called on Congress to act

"It's time for the government to get out of the business of picking winners and losers in the economy, and give every retailer the chance to compete on a level playing field," said Kennedy.

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.

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