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Online Sales Tax Bill Looks Stalled for This Year

GOP won’t move bill in House to create state sales tax parity between brick and mortar, online retailers in lame-duck session

Republicans in Congress have all but killed the Marketplace Fairness Act, a long-debated measure that would create state sales tax parity between brick and mortar and online retailers.

Currently, online retailers need only pay state sales tax if they have a physical location in that state.

The imbalance allows online retailers to charge less for the same products that brick and mortar retailers sell, according to bill proponents.

The news is a victory for opponents like eBay who said such legislation will raise operating costs for small online businesses, but a defeat for traditional retailers.

The MFA passed the Senate last year, we reported.

House Majority Leader Ohio Republican John Boehner said he would not move the measure forward in the current lame-duck session of Congress.

Radio equipment suppliers, too, are impacted by the issue. Those that sell through a catalog or online must collect sales tax from customers when the seller has a direct or indirect physical presence in a state, like a sales office, manufacturing facility or distribution center.

The news comes as consumers have begun their holiday shopping.