Say NO to the Marketplace Fairness Act – Say YES to a Tax-Free InternetJune 21st, 2017
Washington wants more of your cigar money. We don’t think that’s fair.
New legislation is coming that would give states the power to charge sales taxes on online retailers, regardless of whether the company even has a physical location there.
And if it’s passed into law, everything about how online retailers are taxed will change – including how they’ll now be forced to collect those taxes from you.
This isn’t just about cigars. This may affect EVERYTHING you buy on the internet.
There’s a push in Congress for what they’re calling the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA), which would allow each state to collect sales taxes on purchases made online from a company that’s located out of state. As it stands today, states are unable to collect these taxes on purchases from remote businesses – so the tax is often not paid.
The powers-that-be call this current system a “tax loophole” that creates a price disadvantage for local brick-and-mortar businesses; but in reality, this supposed Fairness “fix” shifts the tax collection burden to online businesses and encourages higher tax rates nationwide.
Authored by Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), he said this about the Marketplace Fairness Act: “Right now, thousands of local brick and mortar businesses are forced to do business at a competitive disadvantage because they have to collect sales and use taxes, and remote sellers do not. This legislation promotes internet fairness by putting Main Street businesses on a level playing field with online retailers.”
No, it doesn’t.
The MFA is one more hollow attempt to regulate small businesses, who already bear heavy costs to play by the rules that exist on the books. The Act would hamper their ability to grow if they choose to sell their products online.
One senator said, “Congress should provide…a legislative solution that will make collection efficient and simple for small businesses.”
But they won’t.
Each of the 50 states have their own tax rules; to comply with them in full, online businesses will be forced to endure an audit according to each state’s unique tax code – a logistical nightmare in the making. So rather than take on the burden of collecting taxes for 9,998 different tax jurisdictions across the United States, online retailers would likely just stop selling and shipping their products to the hardest-to-please states – diminishing competition and limiting customers’ choices. And who loses? You.
“Brick and mortar businesses should [never] have to close their doors because they lack a tax advantage online retailers have,” said another lawmaker.
That’s just plain wrong.
By allowing every state to force online and out-of-state businesses to collect in-state sales taxes, the cost of the tools and manpower to comply would actually force these online sellers – many of which are small businesses themselves – to struggle, too.
You have no voice – or rights – where you have no representation.
Marketplace Fairness proponents want to give state governments unfettered access to businesses’ books – even if they aren’t incorporated in that state. If you lived in Pennsylvania, how would you like auditors from Colorado prying open your checkbook to see if you paid enough taxes to Denver? There’s nothing “fair” about a Fairness act that allows one state to tax a resident of another state.
What’s the Solution?
E-commerce isn’t the enemy of brick and mortar stores – and B&Ms won’t succeed with this Fairness Act “protection,” as e-commerce isn’t going away.
The MFA wipes away state borders with respect to tax authority – and passing it will not only put a serious strain on Internet retailers, but open up the marketplace to a flood of even more taxes.
This can be stopped; here’s how:
No Regulation without Representation Act of 2017
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis) has presented the No Regulations without Representation Act (NRRA), in which he aims to “preserve each state’s authority to regulate its own citizens and businesses, and ensure that only the federal government can dictate national policies.”
In other words, preventing the regulatory actions of one state from limiting the practices of another. It’s a common sense, non-partisan bill that serves to protect states’ rights – and the rights of the people and businesses from bearing the undue burden of out-of-state sales taxes.
We’re all in this together.
One state’s demands cannot infringe on the rights of the other 49; that’s not just a fair thing to do, it’s guaranteed in writing by the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. And while some states may like a big tax hike windfall to help pay their bills, the power to regulate nationwide tax rules lies solely with Congress – and they need to hear from consumers like you who will be affected. Tell your legislators:
“There’s nothing fair in the Marketplace Fairness Act. Instead of ‘leveling the playing field,’ passing the Marketplace Fairness Act will unfairly tax my online purchases, limit my buying choices and make it harder for me to do business with online retailers. As your constituent, I urge you to instead support Rep. Sensenbrenner’s No Regulations without Representation Act of 2017.”