GFOA Needs Your Help in Supporting Online Sales Tax Legislation

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Last week Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT-3) introduced legislation (HR 2775) that would enable state and local governments to collect taxes from retailers on remote sales. The legislation, the Remote Transaction Parity Act (RTPA), is similar to the Marketplace Fairness Act (S 698) introduced in January 2015, in that both bills would compel retailers to collect taxes on remote sales based on the location of the consumer, rather than the location of the retailer. Under this legislation, the state in which the consumer resides could compel out-of-state retailers to collect remote sales taxes, either as a member of the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board or through the use of certified software providers. Also like the Marketplace Fairness Act, RTPA enjoys bi-partisan support, including that of Congressman John Conyers (D-MI-13), who serves as the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee. 

This legislation is essential in giving states and localities the access to collect more than $23 billion in unpaid sales and use taxes each year.

It is time to pass this important legislation, and we need your help.

Your direct outreach to your member of Congress is critical to advancing this legislation through the federal legislative process this year.

To assist you in your outreach efforts, GFOA has assembled a Marketplace Fairness/RTPA Resource page. This resource center contains a suite of materials to assist you in your advocacy efforts:

  • A letter to your Representative in support of HR 2775
  • A letter to your Senator in support of S 698
  • A draft Op-ed for your local news source
  • Talking points for a face-to-face meeting with your Representative or Senator
  • A factsheet to assist in your continued dialogue with colleagues and members of Congress

GFOA continues to work closely with our colleagues at the National League of Cities, U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Association of Counties, and National Governors Association, along with our partners in the retail community, to urge Chairman Goodlatte to consider moving forward with the best solution, the Remote Transactions Parity Act. As congressional discussions continue on these legislative proposals, GFOA will continue to keep you informed on the status of these discussions and continue to encourage you to engage your members of Congress and urge their support of this very important legislation.

If you are able to send a letter in support, please also consider also sending it along to Emily Brock, senior policy advisor, GFOA Federal Liaison Center.