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Main Street Retailers Call On Congress To Make Holiday Season Last Without E-Fairness

Brick-And-Mortar Businesses Urge Congress To Level Playing Field

November 21, 2012

Washington, D.C. – As the holiday shopping season quickly approaches, the Alliance for Main Street Fairness (AMSF) and brick-and-mortar retailers across the country are urging Congress to pass e-fairness legislation, close the unfair online sales tax loophole and make this holiday season the last with a playing field that is tilted against America’s local employers.

“This should be the last holiday shopping season that Main Street businesses have to compete on a playing field that is not level,” said Alison Joseph, spokesperson for the Alliance for Main Street Fairness (AMSF). “Cyber Monday is just another opportunity for out-of-state, online-only retailers to exploit a government-sanctioned loophole that puts local businesses at a significant disadvantage over brick-and-mortar retailers. It is time for Congress to pass e-fairness legislation and require all retailers, online and on Main Street, to play by the same set of rules.”

“The holiday shopping season is here and like many business owners, I am looking forward to the influx of customers,” said Stephen Fuhrman, owner of A Cleaner Place in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. “But over the past few years, we’ve seen more and more people come into our store, browse our merchandise, then leave and buy it online to avoid paying sales tax. If this ‘showrooming’ practice continues, more and more Main Street businesses will start closing up shop. Congress must act now to close the online sales tax loophole and protect Main Streets across Oklahoma and the country.”

California, Pennsylvania and Texas have already begun collecting sales taxes for online purchases made within their borders, while six more states have passed e-fairness legislation and are poised to collect sales taxes by 2014. A growing bipartisan group of governors are also calling on Congress to pass federal e-fairness legislation.

The Marketplace Fairness Act in the U.S. Senate and Marketplace Equity Act in the U.S. House are two pieces of legislation with strong bipartisan support that would simplify online sales tax collection and restore a true free market by leveling the playing field for all retailers.