Catalogers Weigh in on Marketplace Fairness Act

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tax-burdenA group of catalogers and suppliers met with Congressional staff on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to discuss their concerns with the Marketplace Fairness Act which passed in the Senate on May 6.

The bill is now headed to the House of Representatives for a final vote before it becomes law.

The Marketplace Fairness Act would require shoppers to pay sales tax for most of their online purchases.  The law would only apply to online sellers that have sales of at least $1 million in states where they don’t have physical operations, like a store or warehouse.

“This is a crushing blow to the internet catalogers,” said William Murphy, Chief Operating Officer of Cigars International during the ACMA’s National Catalog Forum in Washington D.C.

Murphy who was one of the members of the group that met with Congressional staff said the details of the bill are not easily understood.   It will cost jobs and stifle growth, he said.

Murphy added, “Make it easy for the consumer, keep it simple by state.”

Julie Morrow, Director of Marketing for National Wholesale Company, also met with Congressional staff and said meeting with them was a wonderful experience and people were receptive to the group’s concerns for the most part.

According to Jeff Simon, Business Development Director of i-Behavior thought the Marketplace Fairness Act was too broad.   “I think the Senate bill will not survive in the House [of Representatives],” said Simon.

Simon suggested there should be some type of flat rate that comes out of the states.

Carl Szabo, Policy Counsel at NetChoice said during the opening of the ACMA’s National Catalog Forum that catalogers will get hit as hard if not harder by Marketplace Fairness Act.

“It’s a job killing bill,” said Szabo.

Many attendees during the forum discussed spreading the message of talking to legislators, coming up to creative ways to get to the consumer and how to involve social media into the mix to stop the Senate bill from passing in the House of Representatives.

“The bill needs to be simple, it is not fair to make us collect from 9600 jurisdictions,” said Szabo. “We need to simplify this and we need to bake in simplification before this bill goes forward.”

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