To: Sen Jeff Merkley, Sen Ron Wyden, Rep Earl Blumenauer, Rep Kurt Schrader
As your constituent, I ask that you oppose the Marketplace Fairness Act (S. 743/H.R.684). As currently written, the bill will hurt small online businesses. Before any changes are made to Internet sales tax policy, more scrutiny is needed to ensure small businesses are treated fairly, that they are encouraged to grow and continue creating jobs for our economy, and that consumers can benefit from the value and selection that healthy competition provides. A real small business exemption is needed in any Internet sales tax legislation. That’s not the case in the current bill. I support an Internet sales tax exemption for small businesses with less than 50 employees or less than $10 million in annual out-of-state sales. That’s equivalent to the amount of sales generated by a big, national online retailer such as Amazon in only 90 minutes. That’s a reasonable approach to protect jobs and fuel our economy. But so far, proponents of the current bill have refused to consider a fair and reasonable exemption similar to robust small business exemptions already provided by federal legislation on other issues. Currently, small businesses collect and remit sales taxes for purchases made in states where they have a physical presence. This makes sense because it means that small businesses are paying for the government services they use and they are treated the same as offline small business retailers that only collect in one state. Under the Marketplace Fairness Act, however, small businesses would have the same tax obligations as multi-billion-dollar retailers who have a physical presence nationally and use government services in many local tax jurisdictions. I am concerned because the bill also gives tax collectors in every state unprecedented authority to threaten out-of-state small businesses with costly audits and unnecessary litigation. Tax collection software does not solve this issue for small businesses, nor does it guard against the significant liability issues small businesses could face. Small online businesses should not be saddled with new tax burdens. Everyone benefits from Internet-enabled small businesses. Unfortunately, current Internet sales tax legislation will make these businesses less competitive against big national retailers who use government services nationwide and have the resources to collect sales taxes everywhere. I am concerned that this current bill may shut down small online businesses, costing jobs and reducing competition that benefits consumers. Please speak up and oppose the Marketplace Fairness Act. Make sure any Internet sales tax legislation fairly protects small businesses, the jobs they create and the consumer benefits they provide. Legislation should support small businesses, not put them out of business.
4 members of PolitiCrowd