Case for Fairness
|A Level Playing Field|
|Congress needs to bring the sales tax|
system into the 21st Century.
How We Got to Where We Are Today
|1984: The original Macintosh personal computer is released|
|1990: The first World Wide Web server and browser are created|
|1992: Supreme Court creates online sales tax loophole with Quill Corp. v. North Dakota decision|
In 1992, the Supreme Court ruled in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota that complex state and local sales tax rules unduly burdened interstate commerce. As a result, states cannot make an out-of-state seller collect sales taxes unless that seller has a physical presence, such as a store or warehouse, in the purchaser's state.
However, the Supreme Court also ruled that, according to the Constitution, Congress may grant states the authority to require all retailers to collect sales taxes and that Congress is in a better position to fix the problem. Although online shopping didn't exist when this ruling was made, it has disrupted the ability of local retailers to compete fairly with online sellers.
|1995: Jeff Bezos launches Amazon.com|
|1996: eBay founded as AuctionWeb in San Jose, CA|
|1999: The Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA) was created|
In response to the Supreme Court Quill decision, 44 states, the District of Columbia, local governments and the business community came together to create the Streamline Sales and Use Tax Agreement. The purpose is to simplify sales and use tax collection and administration by retailers and states.
The Agreement minimizes costs and administrative burdens on retailers that collect sales tax, particularly retailers operating in multiple states. It encourages "remote sellers" selling over the Internet and by mail order to collect tax on sales to customers living in the Streamlined states. The Agreement ensures that all retailers can conduct their business in a fair, competitive environment.
|2003: Congress introduces the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Act|
On October 15, 2003, Senator Mike Enzi introduced S. 1736, the Streamlined Sales and Use tax Act. The bill would have levelled the playing field for local retailers by granting the states that were SSUTA members the ability to require out-of-state sellers to collect sales taxes. The bill included a small business exemption. There was a companion bill in the House of Representatives, H.R. 3184, introduced by Congressman Ernest Istook.
|2010: Georgia becomes the 24th state to join SSUTA|
|2011: E-commerce sales reach nearly $200 billion.|
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, e-commerce sales were up 16.1% over 2010, compared to overall retails that saw 7.9% growth in 2011.
|2013: Bipartisan S. 743 passes the Senate|
The Marketplace Fairness Act was introduced on February 14, 2013 as companion bills in both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. These bipartisan measures levelled the playing field for local retailers by granting the states the authority to require out-of-state sellers to collect sales taxes.
The bills provided a small business exemption and more flexibility for states than previous versions. On May 6, 2013, the Senate version of the legislation passed as S. 743 with a bipartisan vote of 69-27. The legislation died due to inaction by the House at the end of the last Congress.
|2014: National poll finds that 70% of Americans support federal legislation|
On September 10, 2014, the International Council of Shopping Centers releases the results of a national poll that found that a majority of Americans support federal legislation that would require online-only sellers to collect sales tax at the time of purchase. It also found that a majority of Americans believed that it was fairer to local retailers for online-only retailers to collect sales taxes.
|2015: Congress considers legislation to level the playing field for local retailers|
On March 10, a group of bipartisan Senators introduced S.698, the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2015.
On June 15, a group of bipartisan Representatives introduced H.R. 2775, the Remote Transactions Parity Act of 2015.
- Small towns in WY are struggling to fund public services w/o revenue from' #EFairness'' @SenatorEnzi'' @SenJohnBarrasso…' https://t.co/k0nC5embV2
16 hours ago @efairness
- Fewer than 1% of taxpayers self-report online purchases in NE.' @SenSasse'' @SenatorFischer' act to close the loophole!… https://t.co/rQIYeeEJZ2
19 hours ago @efairness