House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Legislation Affecting State/Local Regulatory and Tax Authority

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

On July 25, 2017, the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law held a hearing on H.R. 2887, the “No Regulation Without Representation Act of 2017.” The bill, sponsored by James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), was introduced in the 114th Congress and reintroduced for the 115th in June. GFOA and other national organizations have opposed the bill as a broad preemption of state and local government regulatory and tax authority. Click here to view GFOA’s comments for the record. In particular, the physical presence requirement the bill seeks to implement would be detrimental to the decades-long effort to find a solution that would address the inability of state and local governments to enforce existing sales and use tax laws on remote sales transactions.

The subcommittee heard from four witnesses, only one from the state and local government community – South Dakota State Senator Deb Peters, whose testimony focused on the Tenth Amendment and how H.R. 2887 would hurt states’ rights and hinder their ability to protect the welfare of their citizens. Peters also expressed the frustration of stakeholders who have spent years trying to develop a remote sales tax solution (more broadly supported legislation like the Marketplace Fairness Act or the Remote Transactions Parity Act has yet to see any action by the subcommittee or the full Judiciary Committee). The Senator’s testimony and an archived video recording of the hearing are available online.

GFOA will continue to monitor the legislation for any developments. We urge GFOA members to reach out to their Representatives, especially if they are members of the subcommittee or full Judiciary Committee, and urge them to oppose this bill.