Dear Editor – While I understand that things move slowly in Washington, D.C., I simply don’t understand why it’s taken more than 20 years for Congress to take action to help America’s local businesses.
I’m talking about the unfair advantage online-only retailers have over the small businesses lining our main streets. By not requiring online-only businesses to collect our state’s sales tax, Congress subsidizes them, placing their interests above local small businesses. As a result, more of our Main Street shops are cutting back or shuttering their doors.
I just don’t see why anyone would think it’s acceptable to hold similar businesses to different tax requirements when the only difference between them is whether they operate online or out of a brick-and-mortar storefront. That flies in the face of the free-market system upon which our great nation was built. It’s the government picking winners and losers, plain and simple.
No one wants to pay sales taxes — and no business really wants to have to collect them. But if we’re going to require one business to collect them, then we must require all businesses to do the same. It’s only fair.
The Senate already passed e-fairness legislation by way of the Marketplace Fairness Act last year.
It’s the right solution because it levels the playing field for businesses and it ensures the sales taxes paid by consumers benefit the communities where they live. It’s time for the House to show they also support the local businesses by passing e-fairness legislation once and for all.
Joseph Villarreal, Austin