Senate to make final decision on Marketplace Fairness Act May 6

WASHINGTON — The Marketplace Fairness Act is one step closer to passing. The Senate voted 63-30 Thursday to end debate on the bill, which would compel online retailers to collect state taxes, and will make a final decision on the bill on May 6. 

Many Congress leaders expressed concern that attaching a "Yes" vote to this bill may be seen by their constituents as a tax increase, according to a report published Friday in the Washington Post. Though the bill only enables states to collect sales taxes already owed them. 

“[The] vote in the Senate is proof that the special treatment of big online businesses at the expense of retailers on Main Street will soon be a thing of the past,” stayted Bill Hughes, SVP government affairs for the Retail Industry Leaders Association. “For too long the Main Street retailers that are an integral part of their communities have faced tax rules that put them at a disadvantage to their out of state, online-only competitors," Hughes said. "The Marketplace Fairness Act would simply provide states with the power, if they choose to use it, to ensure that the market, not government, determines winners and losers."

The Marketplace Fairness Act was outlined in RILA's 2013 public policy agenda as one of the top priorities for the industry. 

Identical legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced by Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark. and Jackie Speier, D-Calif., has likewise generated strong bipartisan support, Hughes noted. 

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