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Fred Clements: Support sales tax fairness now

Published September 24, 2014
A blog by NBDA executive director Fred Clements.

Editor’s note: This blog post was written by Fred Clements, executive director of the National Bicycle Dealers Association. Clements’ previous blog posts can be read on

In the remaining weeks of this Congressional session, it is expected that the U.S. Senate will be voting to reauthorize a long-standing ban on Internet access taxes. Senators who support e-fairness (Internet sales tax reform) are urging their colleagues to take this opportunity to add an e-fairness measure to the bill.

The issue is that independent brick-and-mortar retailers are at a significant competitive disadvantage because they are required to collect state and local sales taxes, while many of their large online competitors are not. Combined state and local sales tax rates range from 6-10 percent in most states and can top 12 percent in some cities, according to the Tax Foundation.

Many small businesses, as well as the National Bicycle Dealers Association, favor a level playing field in which all retailers — whether they operate online, through a physical location, or both — are subject to the same requirements to collect sales taxes. Allowing remote retailers to skirt their obligation to collect sales taxes gives these companies a significant competitive advantage over brick-and-mortar businesses.

A coalition of independent business groups (Advocates for Independent Business) is now orchestrating a social media campaign to rally support for this issue and we urge your involvement.

The goal of #efairnessnow is to persuade customers of independent stores to show their support for Main Street retailers by posting campaign images on their Facebook and Twitter feeds. The campaign also calls on independent stores to do the same.

Bicycle dealers are encouraged to:

  • Reach out to their customers and ask them to speak up for a fair playing field by posting one of the campaign images on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #efairnessnow.
  • Post one of the campaign images to their own Facebook and Twitter accounts, and call their members of Congress and urge them to support sales tax fairness.
  • Connect the campaign even more closely to their stores by taking photos of customers calling for e-fairness. And remember, use the hashtag #efairnessnow.

Our thanks to the Advocates for Independent Business and American Booksellers Association for content contained in this blog post.

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