SOURCE: Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA)

Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA)

July 31, 2012 16:39 ET

Back to Back Hill Hearings Signal Congress Ready to Move on E-Fairness

Tomorrow's Senate Commerce Hearing Comes After Successful House Judiciary Hearing

ARLINGTON, VA--(Marketwire - July 31, 2012) - Tomorrow, the Senate Commerce Committee will hear testimony on the Marketplace Fairness Act, sponsored by Sens. Mike Enzi (R-WY), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN). The Senate hearing on legislation to close the online sales tax loophole follows a similar hearing held last week in the House Judiciary Committee.

The bipartisan legislation, S. 1832, would give all retailers the opportunity to compete on a level playing field, ending the artificial competitive advantage online-only retailers have enjoyed for too long.

"All retailers are asking for is the chance to compete on price in a true free market," said Katherine Lugar, RILA's executive vice president for public affairs. "We need government to take its thumb off the scale and end special treatment for online-only sellers who, unlike retailers on Main Street, currently avoid collecting sales tax.

"Retailing is arguably the most competitive industry in our economy, with profit margins often in the low single digits. By giving out-of-state sellers preferential treatment in the tax code, Congress is picking winners and losers -- with the losers being local communities, storefronts and jobs.

"Opponents of this common-sense reform have shown a willingness to say just about anything in order to preserve their special tax treatment. This hearing is an opportunity for Congress to separate fact from fiction, and we're hopeful after the hearing that Congress will be one step closer to leveling the playing field for all retailers. 

"Congress can restore the free market and give all Main Street job providers a boost by treating everyone equally -- that's all retailers are asking for, treat us the same and let us compete."

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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