With the passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 in the Senate by an overwhelming margin, the bill is now in the U.S. House of Representatives, where we expect the battle to pass the bill to be much tougher. More than ever, House reps need to hear from independent businesses. The Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 would allow states to require remote retailers that do $1 million or more in gross, remote, national sales to collect and remit sales tax. The President has said that he supports the bill. This bill would give states the opportunity to level the playing field for retailers in their state and collect sales tax revenue that otherwise would be lost.
The first step is to convince the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA, 6th District), to schedule a hearing on the bill. With that in mind, we are hoping to find independent retailers in the districts of Judiciary Committee members, http://judiciary.house.gov/about/members.html, to organize a meeting involving a group of independent businesses in the local district office sometime this month. If you have members in these key districts and they would be willing to meet with their rep at the local office, please let me know so I can help facilitate the meeting.
Also on the docket, we would like to send a letter from our coalition of independent trade organizations to the Judiciary committee in the coming weeks. We are the process of drafting this letter, so please be on the lookout for this letter in the next week.
And finally, ABA has asked its membership to reach out to their representatives in the House in support of the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013. We hope you can do the same. We've created a template letter to the House that our members can adapt and email to their congressional rep. You may feel free to offer this template letter to your own members, if you wish. It can be found in our E-Fairness Action Kit, which is organized by state: http://www.bookweb.org/advocacy/efact.
If you have any questions or would like to further discuss this issue with me, my direct line is 914.406.7562.
And again, if you have members in the Judiciary Committee district who would be willing to meet with their rep at the local district level, please let me know, and I will help facilitate the meeting.
Thanks very much.
Senior Public Policy Analyst
American Booksellers Association
333 Westchester Avenue, Suite S202,
White Plains, NY 10604
Fax: (914) 410-6297