Press Releases

Bipartisan Coalition Reintroduces Remote Transactions Parity Act

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Washington, DC, April 27, 2017 | comments

Reps. Kristi Noem (R-SD) and John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) today led a bipartisan group of lawmakers in reintroducing H.R. 2193, the Remote Transactions Parity Act (RTPA), which aims to create a level playing field so Main Street stores and online retailers can compete fairly.  Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Steve Womack (R-AR), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Steve Stivers (R-OH), Lou Barletta (R-PA), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Peter Welch (D-VT) and David Cicilline (D-RI) joined Noem and Conyers as lead cosponsors for the reintroduction.

“Folks shouldn’t have to pay a premium at the register just because they’re supporting a local business,” said Noem.  “Unfortunately, the existing inequality means the deck is too often stacked against our Main Street retailers. The Remote Transactions Parity Act is designed to level the playing field, creating a freer and fairer marketplace that offers consumers the products they need wherever they choose to shop.”

“Each year, more Americans use the Internet to purchase goods and services. While this development has been a boon for certain industries, state and local governments have been increasingly deprived of critical revenue as a result of lost consumer taxes,” said Conyers. “Lost tax revenues mean that state and local governments have fewer resources for services like education, law enforcement, and social services. The Remote Transactions Parity Act represents a bipartisan effort that has broad support from the business community, and state and local governments.  I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this bill into law.”

“For too long, local brick and mortar businesses throughout our country have been at an unfair competitive disadvantage to out of state online retailers. Technology has changed the way we do business and our policies need to keep up,” DelBene said. “The Remote Transactions Parity Act will benefit our local communities by recovering lost revenue to help fund our schools and infrastructure, all without raising or imposing any new taxes. As a long-time proponent of this bill, I look forward to working with my colleagues on getting this legislation to the President’s desk.”

“I have long believed that the retail community and its customers deserve a level playing field,” said Womack.  “Not only is this critical for America’s local small businesses, but also for states like Arkansas that choose to depend on sales tax revenue for essential state services.  Taxes on remote sales are due and payable – but the current environment both encourages tax evasion and undercuts the budgets of cities, counties, and states. Congress must act to not only level the playing field, but to do so before many small businesses close their doors forever.  I am proud to once again help champion the solution, the Remote Transaction Parity Act.  Congresswoman Noem gets it – and I commend her choice to step up as the lead sponsor of this effort.  We’ve got to get the job done before it’s too late.”

“Our outdated tax system is urgently in need of modernization,” said Chaffetz.  “The playing field must be leveled between online retailers and brick and mortar stores in order to enable all sectors of the retail economy to thrive. By broadening the tax base, states like Utah will be able to lower the rate and realize greater economic growth. I fully support Rep. Kristi Noem introducing this much-needed legislation.”

“As a former mayor, I have seen first-hand how much our cities and towns depend on our local merchants to keep our economy moving and create good jobs for our citizens,” Barletta said.  “Local retailers make up the backbone of our economy, and this bill will ensure that they are not left behind.”

Today, a legal loophole allows some online retailers to avoid collecting the sales tax due during a transaction. While consumers are still liable for paying what’s owed, few do, which offers online stores a meaningful advantage over their Main Street competitors. The impact on local jobs, economies, and states who are unable to collect the unpaid taxes has only grown as Americans have become increasingly comfortable with e-commerce.  The RTPA would close this loophole in a way that continues to protect small businesses and foster their innovation and growth.

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