The passage of comprehensive tax reform and a more level playing field between online retailers and Main Street retailers for sales tax collection top the Retail Industry Leaders Association’s public policy priorities for 2013.
According to RILA, the retail industry pays among the highest domestic effective tax rates at 36.4% more than 10 percentage points higher than the average for all other industries.
Further, the same compliance challenges that burden retailers burden their customers and small businesses. Tax reform that substantially reduces the corporate rate, treats all businesses the same and simplifies the system for all taxpayers, will put more money in consumers' pockets and allow businesses to invest and grow.
The laws governing sales tax collection put Main Street retailers at a competitive disadvantage to their online-only competitors, RILA said. Specifically, online retailers are exempted in many states from collecting the sales tax owed on purchases made online, resulting in a perceived price advantage. Because of public pressure brought to bear by RILA and its partners, Amazon.com will be required to collect sales tax in over 50% of the U.S. consumer market by the end of this year.
Here is a complete list of RILA's 2013 Public Policy priorities:
Tax Reform: Pass comprehensive tax reform that lowers rates and simplifies compliance for corporations, consumers and small businesses.
E-Fairness: Level the playing field for Main Street retailers and give states the right to enforce their sales tax laws online.
Health Care: Protect retailers' ability to continue to offer employees quality health coverage.
Labor: Stop job-killing labor regulations that create micro-unions and ambush elections.
Privacy: Promote a self-regulatory model to consumer privacy that recognizes the needs and expectations of consumers.
Swipe Fee Reform: Extend debit swipe fee reforms to credit cards.
Trade: Pursue the adoption of simple, flexible rules of origin for apparel as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the expansion of the Information Technology Agreement.