MRAA launches Internet survey
Friday, July 13, 2012
Twenty years ago, the Marine Retailers Association of the
Americas supported a sales tax on catalog sales in an effort to level the
playing field for main street small businesses. Now, Internet sales are under a
similar type of scrutiny.
Currently, companies without a physical presence in a state
where the consumer lives don’t have to charge sales tax on Internet purchases,
such as boat parts and accessories.
A number of states have passed laws that would require consumers
to pay sales tax on Internet sales.
States are struggling to balance budgets and to meet service demands of
the public. According to the National Conference of State Legislators, a new Internet
sales tax could generate $23 billion in revenues.
The activity in state legislatures is driving support for
legislation in Congress that could make collection of sales tax a standard
practice on the Internet. The bill, S. 1812, the Marketplace Fairness Act,
exempts online businesses making less than $500,000 a year from collecting
sales tax. Under this bill, the Internet
tax would not include boats. It would only apply to parts and accessories, as a
state sales/use tax is currently paid at registration for boats bought on the
The bill, sponsored by Senators Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming),
Richard Durbin (D-Illinois) and 13 others, was introduced in November. It has
been referred to the Senate Finance Committee, but the House is also interested
with the House Judiciary Committee planning a hearing on July 24.
The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas is
launching a survey to explore the impact Internet sales are having on dealers'
businesses and ask dealers whether they support or oppose an Internet sales
tax. Click here to
take the survey.