The Honorable Harry Reid
Majority Leader
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
 
The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Minority Leader
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
 

Dear Senator Reid and Senator McConnell:

On behalf of the National Governors Association (NGA), we urge the Senate to pass S. 743, known as the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA), as soon as possible.

Just last month, during Senate consideration of its FY14 budget resolution, the Senate voted 75-24, in support of the MFA.  This overwhelming, bipartisan vote stands in stark contrast to those who oppose this common-sense legislation.

Never before has the need for legislation to grant states the authority to collect sales taxes on remote sales been greater.  The continued disparity between online retailers and Main Street businesses is shuttering stores and undermining state budgets.  The Senate has the opportunity now to level the playing field with 21st Century rules for all retailers.

Opponents call this legislation a new tax. Of course, this is not a new tax, nor is it a tax on the Internet or on business.  It is merely a means of collecting taxes owed on the sale of goods and services over the Internet.

From the viewpoint of the states, if a company is doing business, selling goods and soliciting customers in their state, that company should have to play by that state’s rules. If a state has a sales tax on specific goods, then everybody selling those goods there should have to collect and remit it. This philosophy is not only fair, it also promotes competition, which is good for consumers, good for tax equity, and good for business by leveling the playing field and creating certainty -- all accomplished without affecting the federal budget.

NGA urges the Senate to take decisive bipartisan action and pass S. 743.

Sincerely,

Governor Tom Corbett
Chair, Economic Development and Commerce  Committee

Governor Steven Beshear
Vice Chair, Economic Development and Commerce Committee