During the month of January, Lobbyit.com initiated WFCA's first stakeholder meetings with Senators currently pushing legislation supported by WFCA's members.
• Lobbyit.com met with Sen. Durbin's office to discuss his bill, S. 1452, Main Street Fairness Act
• Lobbyit.com met with Sen. Enzi's office to discuss his bill, S. 1832, Marketplace Fairness Act
The following legislation is being tracked by Lobbyit.com on behalf of WFCA:
S. 1452: Main Street Fairness Act
NEW - This bill works with states which have adopted the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA) to help close loopholes which allow remote sellers to abuse sales taxes. These loopholes put brick and motor businesses at a disadvantage because remote sellers are allowed to price their products cheaper, upwards of 10% cheaper. States who are not members of SSUTA are not allowed to participate unless they have petitioned for and become a member state under SSUTA supervision. This bill also has no small seller designation, which is determined by the Governing Board of the SSUTA. If this Act does not fully comply with its original language or if this is Act is amended and no longer serves its original purpose, the Act will terminate any authority.
S. 1832: Marketplace Fairness Act
NEW - This bill is similar in concept to S. 1452, yet the language is different to include bi-partisan support. S. 1832 addresses the remote seller tax loopholes, but allows states who are not members of SSUTA to be included by adopting minimum simplification requirements for its taxes. This bill also exempts small sellers with less than $500,000 in gross annual remote sales from collection requirements. Finally, this bill does not include vendor compensation in its language.
The following stakeholder meetings were taken by Lobbyit.com on behalf of WFCA:
• Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL): Lobbyit.com met Sen. Durbin's legislative aide Corey Tellez to discuss the bill's inception and current efforts to move it through Congress. Lobbyit.com introduced WFCA, its background and history, as well as its support for such a bill. Though Lobbyit.com was aware that Sen. Enzi's bill was more up-to-date, Corey did say that Sen. Durbin had been working on this effort for a few years now, and that given the time and effort put forth to introduce this language, it would not be dropped regardless if Sen. Enzi's bill moves. Another point Corey made, is that if for whatever reason Sen. Enzi's bill fails, this piece of legislation can act as a fallback option. Corey stated that Sen. Enzi's bill is the bill that has the best chance of moving forward, and that currently efforts are being made between the bill's co-sponsors' staff to round up more Republican support.
• Sen. Michael Enzi (R-WY): Lobbyit.com met with Sen. Enzi's legislative director Randi Reid to discuss the Senator's bill and the likelihood of passage. Lobbyit.com gave Randi a thorough explanation of WFCA, its members, its mission, and its support of Sen. Enzi's bill. Randi was excited to hear that an organization as large and diverse as WFCA would be willing to support S. 1832 and outlined opportunities to show support. Randi outlined the main differences between the bills and explained that the tweaks found in S. 1832 have appealed to more Republicans, which is key toward ensuring its passage. Another key component is that Randi and her colleagues have talked to large internet retail companies and so long as the language does not change, they will not interfere. This is a point of emphasis because the bill is no longer an issue between large remote retailers and small brick and mortar businesses, rather convincing Republican members to support a bill that ultimately supports small business and America's economy. Randi shared Republican targets that Lobbyit.com and WFCA can engage on a multitude of levels, while at the same time co-sponsors' staff will target the same offices behind closed doors. Coordinated efforts like these will increase the bill's chances of movement and given the language, Randi emphasized that this is the best opportunity for passage. She has spoken with Sen. Reid's staff and if enough Republicans can join this bill, it could move sometime soon.
Until next month,
For more information on the issues being tracked by WFCA, go to wfca-pro.org/Legislative-Action.aspx
SURFACES is the largest US event serving the floor covering industry. Held annually in Las Vegas, NV, SURFACES brings together buyers and sellers from all over the world to see the latest floor covering products, tools, services and technologies. SURFACES also offers an unrivaled educational program and networking opportunities focused on increasing business opportunities and driving sales.
The official sponsor of SURFACES is the World Floor Covering Association, the floor covering industry's largest advocacy organization representing floor covering retailers, contractors and allied service providers throughout North America.