The Virginia Retail Federation (VRF) worked with the American Booksellers Association and Capital Results to place this exceptional coverage of the federal online sales tax collection legislation. The report, featuring One More Page Bookstore in Arlington, aired nationally on the PBA Nightly Business report on July 12, 2012.


Retail industry groups have intensified their push for national sales tax collection. According to “Hillcon Valley”, The Hill’s technology blog, more than a dozen executives from state-based retail associations hit Capitol Hill on Wednesday to urge lawmakers to support a sales tax on online purchases.

The executives, along with representatives from the national Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), scheduled meetings with lawmakers to argue that allowing online purchases to go untaxed puts traditional brick-and-mortar stores at an unfair disadvantage.

The lobbying push comes a day after a bipartisan group of senators offered online sales tax legislation as an amendment to a small-business bill.

Under current law, states can only collect sales taxes from retailers who have a physical presence in their state. People who order items online from another state are supposed to declare the purchase on their tax forms, but few do.

The amendment, from Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), would empower states to collect taxes on online purchases. The measure could come up this week when the Senate votes on the underlying Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act.

The Virginia Retail Federation is actively involved in this federal effort. On July 24, the House Judiciary Committee will hear testimony on the Marketplace Equity Act. VRF members will travel to Washington to testify on this House version of the federal legislation. Congressman Randy Forbes, who represents Chesapeake and several localities throughout southern Virginia, is a high-ranking member of the Committee.

VRF members have recently met with Congressman Forbes, who told the members they are doing “the work of the angels” on trying to level the playing field between local retailers and their giant internet competitors. The bill has bipartisan support from Virginia Congressmen Forbes and Bobby Scott who are co-sponsors of the Marketplace Equity Act.

For more information contact Margaret Ballard, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 757-406-9431; or George Peyton, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 804-662-5505.