Stephen DeMaura

It is important to note that this is not a new tax or a tax increase. Online merchants have always owed sales tax (as have their customers) they just haven’t paid it. In addition to the much-needed revenue this has denied states, cities and counties, it has turned millions of Internet shoppers into unwitting tax dodgers, a fact that could turn into a serious problem for them in the event of an unexpected audit.

Local retailers are important to our communities. There are one million retail outlets in the U.S. and they employ almost 14 million people. In addition, they create the shopping and commercial districts that create opportunities for other employers such as restaurants and service businesses.

The hard-working men and women who staff Main Street retail shops deserve better treatment than this. It is patently unfair for an antiquated, poorly conceived tax policy to give online sellers a sweetheart deal while hometown businesses struggle to survive. Tell your Member of Congress to vote yes on the Marketplace Fairness Act in the Senate or the Marketplace Equity Act in the House.

Stephen DeMaura

Stephen DeMaura is president of Americans for Job Security.