On January 3, 2017, the City of Roanoke, Virginia, passed a resolution urging the U.S. Congress to act on legislation that will enable state and local governments to collect revenues due to local government. Congressional inaction over the past several years has resulted in an increase in the Virginia state sales tax from to 5.3%, from 5%, and has placed significant limitations on the jurisdiction.
The resolution asks the new Congress to act on legislation this year that would collect and remit sales taxes structured on a system of collection based upon the purchaser’s location. Passing this legislation during the 115th Congress would “send the clear and unequivocal message to states and localities that the United States Congress supports small business women and men who create jobs, produce revenues to support essential infrastructure improvements, and create a stronger and more resilient economy for the benefit of all Americans,” as stated in the resolution, which the City of Roanoke’s City Council passed unanimously at its first meeting of 2017.
This resolution sends a clear message not only Roanoke’s representative, Bob Goodlatte, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, but also to the state legislature and its governor, Terry McAuliffe, who has recently proposed a collection on certain out-of-state online retailers to collect sales taxes.
GFOA’s Federal Liaison Center is working with our colleagues at the National League of Cities, U.S. Conference of Mayors, and National Association of Counties to distribute a template of this resolution and work toward a solution that would give marketplace fairness the chance to be considered and passed this year. Stay tuned for more details on this grassroots movement.