May 7, 2013
Senate Passes Bipartisan Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013; Legislation Moves to House
On Monday, May 6, 2013, the Senate passed S. 743, the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 (Marketplace Fairness Act), legislation introduced by Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-SD) in an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 69-27. Among other things, the Marketplace Fairness Act would allow states with sales and use tax regimes that meet certain simplification standards to require retailers to collect sales and use taxes from consumers within the state, whether or not those retailers have a physical presence. Additionally, the Marketplace Fairness Act provides an exemption for small businesses and would relieve consumers of having to self-report sales/use taxes they already owe.
By providing this roadmap for states to gain the ability to collect the sale and use taxes they are already owed, this legislation would provide tax parity for bricks-and-mortar retailers and remote internet and catalogue sellers, simplify state tax filing for individuals, and help address state budget shortfalls at no cost to the federal government.
The Marketplace Fairness Act now goes to the House for consideration, where a similar bill, H.R.684, has been introduced. H.R. 684 was introduced on February 14, 2013 by Representatives Steve Womack (R-AR), Kristi Noem (R-SD), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Peter Welch (D-VT) and John Conyers (D-MI). H.R. 684 currently has 65 bipartisan co-sponsors.
NAREIT and its members have been supporting legislative changes along these lines since 1999 and now serves on the Management Committee of the Marketplace Fairness Coalition. This coalition is comprised of a broad group of businesses and trade associations led by the International Council of Shopping Centers, and which includes the American Booksellers Association, the National Retail Federation, the Retail Industry Leaders Association, the National Association of College Stores, and online retailer Amazon.com.
NAREIT applauds the co-sponsors of the Marketplace Fairness Act for their leadership on this important issue. In particular, NAREIT appreciates the tireless efforts of Senators Enzi and Durbin, who have championed the need for a level playing field for all retailers for over a decade.
For more information about the Marketplace Fairness Act and related legislation, visit REIT.com.
If you have any comments or questions, please contact Dara Bernstein, NAREIT's Senior Tax Counsel, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.739.9446.