I read with some amusement the recent letter in support of the so-called Marketplace Fairness Act.
The writer failed to note that if this misguided bill--which passed the Senate over principled bipartisan opposition--were to become law, the consequences for small online retailers would be catastrophic.
Many of these online retailers are small "Mom and Pop" operations based in basements or garages in Hawai'i and across the country. These businesses would now be required to comply with the laws of almost 10,000 taxing jurisdictions across the country, and could be threatened with audits from them as well, despite having no presence there whatsoever.
For the general manager of a local Maui mall to make this argument is especially disingenuous. What would that manager say if the clerks in every mall store were required to ask customers where they lived, and collect and remit the appropriate sales taxes for that jurisdiction? No doubt it would be a logistical nightmare!
Congress should act to ensure a level playing field for 21st century commerce--one that would ensure that small, nimble online retailers--the embodiment of the 21st century economy--are on an equal footing with such 20th century throwbacks as shopping malls.
WE R HERE Coalition | Alexandria, Virginia