MnRA recognises Rest for support of marketplace fairness
After a multi-year effort to level the playing field for retailers, the Minnesota Legislature passed e-fairness in the final hours of the session.
At our 15th Annual Legislative Wrap-Up Golf Tournament last Tuesday, the Minnesota Retailers Association (MnRA) named State Senator Ann Rest an "E-Fairness Champion" for her commitment to seeing this legislation through the process and making it stronger along the way.
Senator Rest's efforts resulted in Governor Mark Dayton signing e-fairness in to law as part of the tax bill on May 23, 2013. Retailers thank Senator Rest for her efforts to revise Minnesota's tax code around today's business model while recognizing that a sale is a sale.
The Minnesota Retailers Association is pleased to present Senator Ann Rest our E-Fairness Champion award for her work to level the playing field for our brick-and-mortar retailers. We recognize Senator Rest's leadership in a multi-year effort to educate legislators and Minnesotans about the need to modernize our sales tax system when it comes to treating all sales equally. For her distinctive leadership on e-fairness, retailers across Minnesota say thank you.
This week marks the mid-point of Minnesota's 2013 legislative session.
This week marks the mid-point of Minnesota's 2013 legislative session. Legislators returned to their districts for conversations with constituents, town hall meetings, vacations, and in some cases ice fishing. At MnRA we take the opportunity to inventory retail issues at the Capitol and provide you this update.
Click here to view MnRA's mid-session report.
Senators Klobuchar & Franken Lead on Marketplace Fairness Act
In what has been called a test vote on the federal Marketplace Fairness Act (S. 336), the U.S. Senate produced a powerful statement for e-fairness on Friday when it added the Act to a federal budget proposal that ultimately passed around 5:00 a.m. Saturday morning.
The Marketplace Fairness Act Amendment was adopted with bipartisan support on a 75 to 25 vote. The vote margin indicates enough support for the bill that legislative champions will begin to seek an avenue for its passage. Since the U.S. Senate and House have different approaches to the 2014 federal budget, the Marketplace Fairness Act as amended to the budget proposal does not have a chance to work through the federal budget process.
"The vote clearly shows it is time for the Marketplace Fairness Act to move forward in the U.S. Senate, and also work its way through the U.S. House of Representatives," said MnRA president Bruce Nustad in reaction to the vote Friday. "Retailers in Minnesota thank Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken for their leadership and yes votes on this important retail fairness issue. The hard work of both Senators is reflected in the overwhelming support demonstrated in the U.S. Senate."
Both Senator Klobuchar and Senator Franken are among a group of 28 co-sponsors of the Marketplace Fairness Act.
Retailers across the country as well as business trade associations, including the Minnesota Retailers Association (MnRA), applauded the action of the U.S. Senate on the Marketplace Fairness Act amendment. A simple tweet from the Retail Industry Leaders Association said it all as the vote threshold for passing the amendment was hit during the roll call vote: "WooHoo #efairness".
In a speech a day before the vote, Senator Klobuchar named several MnRA members on the floor of the U.S. Senate including Creative Kidstuff, the Uff-Da Shop, Target, Best Buy, and Thrifty White Pharmacy, saying, "Businesses in Minnesota can't compete if they don't have a level playing field to compete on. The Marketplace Fairness Act would help get rid of the loopholes in our tax code that hurt brick-and-mortar businesses and cost our state money."
Senator Franken also addressed fellow Senators that same day: "In Minnesota, the retail industry includes nearly half a million workers - about one in five jobs in the state. And those retailers need to compete on price - and on service - every single day. But the current sales tax system makes it impossible for them to compete. Requiring online retailers to collect the sales tax at the time of purchase - just like main-street retailers do - is just common sense. It's more fair. It will be better for state budgets."
MnRA supports efforts to move the Marketplace Fairness Act forward.