Hundreds of thousands of small businesses throughout the country are hoping to see passage of federal e-fairness legislation this year. Right now, they are disproportionately impacted by an online loophole that allows their Internet competitors to evade collecting sales tax. This artificial pricing advantage is driving local retailers out of business, and these small businesses, for the sake of a free market, call on Congress to pass legislation that levels the playing field for retailers, whether they sell on Main Street, online or both.
This week, Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Alabama, told The Gadsden Times “I do believe there is a parity problem between small businesses and online retailers. The bottom line is that small businesses are the backbone of the Alabama economy and the American economy. They already struggle to compete against the large box stores.”
E-Fairness: Williams wants Congress to act on online sales tax
By Lisa Savage
An estimated $5 million in sales tax for online sales is uncollected each year in Etowah County, according to Deverick Williams, president of the Gadsden City Council. He said an estimated $347 million is uncollected in Alabama. Gadsden’s share alone would be about $2 million, he said. That’s why he and other city leaders are calling on Congress to close the online sales tax loophole and pass e-fairness legislation.
The Montgomery Advertiser‘s editorial board also urged movement on e-fairness legislation, saying, “If a business can beat another’s prices through its own acumen, so be it, but the price advantage should not be created artificially by an unjust tax provision.”
Fairness at core of online tax question
A new tax invariably faces political obstacles, but why should the same be true of a tax that already exists but is not collected? And shouldn’t a tax practice that arbitrarily creates a competitive advantage be corrected?
The Alabama Retail Association and its members have long advocated and will continue to advocate for Congress to level the playing field for all retailers in regard to collecting sales taxes.