By: Elizabeth Nickerson
July 19, 2013
Tallahassee, FL--Closing an online loophole could lower Florida's tax rate, and even create jobs. That's according to non-profit 'Florida Tax Watch.' The group with others, are teaming up to help brick and mortar stores.
Retail stores say they are suffering from something called "show rooming." Owners from Nic's Toggery call it "frustrating" when people walk-in to their store try things on and leave to find a more discounted price.
The local business says people come into the shop take photos of the item and then purchase it online.
"They think they are going to save that sales tax and maybe get a better deal, but they also don't get that expertise online that a store like mine can provide," said Jim Schalow, a manager from Nic's Toggery.
The Florida Tax Watch, The Florida Chamber of Commerce and The Florida Retail Federation are teaming up to end the online sales tax loopholes.
The organizations are all backing the Marketplace Fairness Act that will make people pay taxes for online purchases. At a press conference Friday, they said the piece of legislation could lower taxes, add more than 100,000 jobs in Florida and could create 1.5 million jobs nationwide in the next ten years.
"Customers often times are driven to lower prices and in the end are state suffers," said Dominic Calabro from the Florida Tax Watch.
"The retailer has spent time to talk to the customer to service them and then the sale goes somewhere else and that is very frustrating because its a tough business," said John Fleming from the Florida Retail Federation.
The legislation has already passed in the senate. it's still pending in the house.
Press Release: Florida Strategies
Tallahassee, Florida. – Today, Florida Tax Watch, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Associated Industries of Florida, and the Florida Retail Federation announced the findings of a study—conducted by renowned economists Art Laffer and Donna Arduin—showing that closing the online sales tax loophole provides multiple benefits, including the potential to lower overall tax rates and jumpstart economic growth. The study suggests that passing e-fairness legislation like the Marketplace Fairness Act would create a tax system with fewer loopholes, a larger base, and lower rates for all taxpayers, which could lead to an increase in the GDP of $563.2 billion and over 1.5 million jobs over the next 10 years.
Leslie Waters, Mayor of the City of Seminole and former Florida House Speaker Pro Tem, said, “Government shouldn’t be picking the winners and losers through discriminatory tax policy. As it turns out, over the next decade a level playing field coupled with lower taxes will add 107,474 jobs and increase our GSP by more than 3%. I can’t think of another proposal by the state government, federal government, or private sector that will have that kind of tangible impact.”
The Marketplace Fairness Act received a bipartisan vote in the U.S. Senate on May 6, 2013, and similar legislation is already pending in the House of Representatives with over 60 bipartisan cosponsors, including Rep. Ander Crenshaw, Rep. Dennis Ross, Rep. Frederica Wilson, Rep. Theodore Deutch, and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart from this state.
Dr. Laffer’s findings support the efforts of a growing coalition of small business owners1, governors2 and free market conservatives3 across the country who are urging the U.S. House of Representatives to act and to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act.
“Dr. Laffer’s study is fantastic, but the real story here are the small businesses, the country’s most robust jobs creators—107,000 in Florida and 1.5 million nationwide over the next ten years. This study proves that if Congress lets us compete in a free market, our entire economy will be the winner,” said Jason Steele, Chairman of the Brevard County Republican Executive Committee and former State Representative.
A copy of the report is available at http://standwithmainstreet.com/ArtLafferStudy.pdf.