Online Stores, Inc. welcomed a visitor of congressional proportions. PA District 18 Representative Tim Murphy stopped by Wednesday, September 5, 2012 to tour the offices and warehouse, as well as meet with CEO, Kevin Hickey, to discuss the Marketplace Equity Act.
Congressman Murphy and his Deputy Chief of Staff, Lou Lazzaro, were anxious to meet with constituents and see a business in their district that manufactures some of the products that they sell. Both gentlemen showed a keen interest in the pad printing area (where custom logos are printed on hard hats) and the flag production section.
After the tour, Mr. Lazzaro and Congressman Murphy sat down with Kevin, Vice President, John Gilkey, and President of Operations, Brian Cerra to discuss the proposed Marketplace Equity Act.
H.R. 3179: Marketplace Equity Act of 2011 would authorize states to require all sellers making remote sales to collect and remit sales and use taxes with respect to such sales into the state, without regard to the location of the seller.
As a potential cosponsor to this Act, Tim listened intently to Kevin’s and Online Stores, Inc.’s position on the matter. Kevin explained that the cost of collecting sales tax collection to remitting to 50 states and over 9,600 taxing jurisdictions every month would cost the company $200,000 a year of more in compliance costs. Instead of going against the act all together, Kevin suggested simplifying the means of collection across the states with the following ideas:
- Provide reliable real time software for rate lookup, collection, electronic filing, and funds transfer
- Include a single set of definitions for taxable and exempt products for all states
- Incorporate a single audit conducted by the retailer’s home state on behalf of all states and local jurisdictions (in our case, Pennsylvania)
- Integrate a common sales tax return for remote sellers to file to a single entity
- Provide remote seller exemption from participation in sales tax holidays and thresholds
- Create an arbitration mechanism for resolving disputes between retailers and states without going to state courts
- Encourage that collection of sales tax does not create a nexus for any other business purpose
- Instill an exemption for small businesses under $5 million sales
- Provide reasonable time to implement – 2 years min from passing law
- Limit to retailer liability in event of misclassification
Tim, receptive of the information, shared his visit and appreciation for Online Stores, Inc. with his Facebook fans stating,
“I …learned how an overly complex tax code is hurting an innovative local business working to keep manufacturing in America. Thanks for sharing your ideas on how to keep Made in the USA success stories in SWPA. I’ll keep working it!”
To get news about what Congressman Murphy is working on and what is going on in our local area, sign up to receive his newsletter on his web page.
See also: The Great Online Sales Tax Debate