Food Marketing Institute (FMI) is applauding the legislative effort to ensure brick and mortar food retailer establishments can compete fairly against online retailers, and that sales taxes are applied equally across sales channels.
The authors of the Marketplace Fairness Act, Sens. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-S.D.) and Reps. Steve Womack (R-Ark.), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and John Conyers (D-Mich.) introduced the legislation Thursday. Articulated in the bill, states can opt in and require online retailers to remit a sales tax on goods.
“Inequities in internet commerce are already taking a big bite out of neighborhood supermarkets, state coffers and employment in local communities because online retailers aren’t required to collect sales tax,” said FMI SVP of Government and Public Affairs Jennifer Hatcher.
Hatcher added, “Ninety-two percent of FMI members recognized e-commerce would have a fundamental impact on their businesses, given the demand among consumers. Forty-eight percent of food retailers offer online shopping, and the anticipated growth for this commerce channel will jump considerably in the next five years.
“The landscape is changing—we want and need to a level playing field to compete. Our industry has about a 1 percent profit margin, so when we face a 3 to 8 percent disadvantage with any given transaction, depending on the sales tax law, it is unfair and negatively impacts our neighborhood supermarkets, communities and the millions of people we employ in every congressional district in this country.”
View a list of tax rates by state here.