Letters to the Editor

Fairness act, Internet tax ban work together

Contrary to Mr. Zabbo’s letter of Dec. 28, Sen. Dick Durbin is not advocating for taxes on Internet access. It would appear Mr. Zabbo has been told less than the truth by those who want to continue to protect Internet sellers and discriminate against our Main Street retailers in Illinois, Missouri, and the other 43 states that have a sales tax.

Sen. Durbin’s proposal would require equal treatment of local retailers — something we should all care about. He is saying that Congress should pass both the Marketplace Fairness Act and the extension of the ban on Internet taxes. I agree.

If a permanent extension of the ban on taxing Internet access is passed while Marketplace Fairness is not, we all lose. How? Main Street employers who hire locally, donate locally, and generate the revenue necessary to support local public services and projects will continue to be at a substantial disadvantage to their Internet competitors. Why? Unless Congress also passes the Marketplace Fairness Act allowing states to require Internet sellers to collect the same sales tax as our local businesses are required to collect, our local businesses will not be able to compete, leading to lost sales. Lost sales mean fewer hires, fewer sponsorships and less revenue to fund local services upon which we all depend.

We all should be contacting every congressman and senator demanding they immediately pass the Marketplace Fairness Act and the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act.

Robert Karr, president and CEO, Illinois Retail Merchants Association, Springfield