On September 18 House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) released his principles for the development of legislation that would allow state and local governments to compel retailers to collect and remit sales taxes on online sales. The release of the Chairmans principles marks a watershed moment for this decade-plus legislative movement. Congress, with its clear constitutional authority to regulate interstate commerce, now has the Chairmans endorsement and a clear path forward to develop online sales tax legislation in a manner that will not harm small businesses, impose any new taxes or affect federal revenues or expenditures.
Such legislation, will finally bring federal law into the digital age by enabling state and local governments to collect sales taxes on online purchases that are already owed to them but are not being paid, as well as level the playing field for brick and mortar retailers, who are currently being put at a five to ten percent competitive disadvantage to remote sellers due to federal inaction in updating national tax laws with respect to digital sales.
What Can You Do to Help the House Develop and Enact Legislation on This Critical Issue?
GFOAs Federal Liaison Center has developed a suite of advocacy materials to assist you in your outreach to your federal elected leaders to request their support for the development of House legislation in line with the legislative principles released by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) on September 18. These materials include:
- Talking points to help you in your discussions with your members of Congress on the bill.
- A draft letter to send to your members of the House of Representatives to request their engagement with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Goodlatte on developing a bill.
- A draft Op-Ed for you to send to your local paper to continue to increase awareness for the need to enact this important bill.
Please work with your state and local elected bodies to use these materials and share them with your federal elected leaders today!
Beyond these resources GFOA is also working closely with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities and National Association of Counties to advocate for House enactment of online sales tax legislation. You can view the advocacy resources they have available, as well as a list of the current cosponsors of the measure using the links below.