Marketplace Fairness Act

You could be a few clicks away from paying more online due to the Marketplace Fairness Act recently passed by the Senate.

If passed by the House, online retailers exceeding one million dollars in out of state sales would be required to collect sales tax on their online transactions and that money would then be sent back to the state of purchase. In Naperville, you would pay 7.25%.

“What you’re seeing is situations like shoe stores where customers are coming in, getting fitted for the shoe, choose what model they want and then just use their smart phone to check the price online,” said Representative Bill Foster, a Democrat from Illinois 11th District. “Then walk out of the store and buy it tax free on the Internet. So this is an unfair marketplace and this is what the bill is addressing.”

Companies affected include Amazon, eBay, and Overstock who currently only have to collect sales tax if they have a physical presence within the purchaser’s state.

Despite the go-ahead from the Senate, the bill may hit Republican opposition in the House and many critics argue this is essentially a tax increase.

But, many local businesses here in Naperville feel this legislation would help our local economy thrive.

“There will be more tax dollars that stay here instead of out of state to companies that do absolutely nothing for us,” said Becky Anderson, co-owner of Anderson’s Bookshop. “There’s a circulation of money and how it goes, we’ll see so much more stay here. We will have a more robust economy. More people will be employed. People will see it in countless ways.”

“It’s hard to argue with someone that can go pay less somewhere that they go and do that, but the bottom line is that when you look at a community that you’re a part of, you live here you should support it and be a proponent of it,” said Kris Hartner, the owner of The Naperville Running Company.

The last time the topic was in front of any federal group was back in 1992, long before e-commerce boomed, prompting this new discussion.

While the bill could boost local tax revenue, some consumers aren’t on board.

“I would prefer not to,” said Naperville Resident Kim Wightkin. “I have a family of seven to take care of so I’m always trying to find a good deal or save money where I can.”

There is no scheduled date for the House to vote on the item and Congressman Foster said residents should reach out to their representatives to help get a vote scheduled.

If approved, you could see the changes as early as October of this year, just in time for the holidays.


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