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April 19, 2013

RE: Federal Marketplace Fairness Act Can Advance to Senate Floor

Dear Mayor:

On April 16, United States Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took the first step to move the Marketplace Fairness Act (S. 336) directly to the Senate floor, skipping the committee process. He filed a motion to begin the process of putting the bill, the Marketplace Fairness Act, on the Senate calendar. The bill could come up for a vote as early as next week.

The Marketplace Fairness Act was introduced by Senators Mike Enzi, Dick Durbin and Lamar Alexander.  It currently has 29 cosponsors. It is intended to level the retail “playing field” for our Main Street merchants, by eliminating a competitive advantage enjoyed by internet marketers.

Under current law, states can only collect sales taxes from retailers that have a physical presence in their state. People who order items online from another state are supposed to declare the purchases on their tax forms, but few do. The Marketplace Fairness Act would empower states to tax online purchases but would exempt small businesses that earn less than $1 million annually from out-of-state sales.

Last month, on a voice vote, the Senate approved a non-binding amendment to the Budget Resolution expressing support for allowing states to tax online purchases. Although the vote had no legal impact, it was an important demonstration of support for the proposal. 

Please ask Senators Lautenberg and Menendez to support the Marketplace Fairness Act when it comes to the floor.

Very truly y ours,  
Janice S. Mironov, President,                                                
New Jersey State League of Municipalities and 
Mayor, East Windsor Township                                            
Brian Wahler
Mayor, Piscataway
Member, NJLM Executive Board
Chair, NJLM Telecommunications Study Committee


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