Marketplace fairness: municipal resolutions encourage action.

Author:Brock, Emily Swenson
Position:Perspectives
 
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Even though January 2017 marked the beginning of the 115th Congress and a new presidential administration, state and local governments still find themselves without the ability to enforce existing sales and use tax laws on remote, online purchases--a long-standing priority. GFOA remains optimistic that federal remote sales tax legislation will advance in the new Congress. We also anticipate the introduction of 2017 legislation that is identical to last year's legislation, but many jurisdictions are tired of waiting.

The current sales tax system deprives local communities of significant revenue that is needed to pay for critical public services such as emergency responders, law enforcement, educators, infrastructure improvements, and other government programs. In early 2017, jurisdictions in Virginia, Georgia, Washington, and Missouri took up and passed resolutions insisting that the new Congress act on legislation this year that would collect and remit sales taxes via a system of collection based upon the purchaser's location.

Many of the resolutions note that 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...

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