At the National Association of Counties (NACo) Legislative Conference this past weekend, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle passed a resolution in support of the “Marketplace Fairness Act,” a bipartisan proposal aimed at leveling the playing field between local retailers with a physical presence in a community and online retailers.
United States Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced this proposal last November that, if passed by the United States Congress, would permit states to mandate large online retailers to collect sales taxes that governments are owed today.
Currently, residents who live within states that access a sales tax are required to pay the tax that they owe from online purchases, but as the result of non-collection by online retailers, the vast majority of those who shop online to do not pay taxes that are owed to government.
The measure does not establish or create any new taxes; it would require the same taxation rules to be applied to retailers whether they conduct business online or in a physical location.
The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates online sales will cost states $23 billion in tax revenue in 2012.
“In this economic climate, when governments at every level are finding themselves having to do more with less, it is imperative that government have the tools necessary to collect taxes that they are currently owed today,” said President Preckwinkle.
The resolution comes shortly after President Preckwinkle launched her “Commit to Cook” campaign which focuses on encouraging residents to support Cook County businesses and working with the business community to spur economic development in the region.
“I urge my county colleagues across the country to weigh in now with their Senators and ask them to co-sponsor this bipartisan measure,” said Preckwinkle.
The Marketplace Fairness Act is S. 1832.