It's hard to blame them really. If the big retailers are charging tax, but their competitors are not, that is a competitive disadvantage. Here's the compelling argument from J.C. Penney's Vice President and Associate General Counsel-Tax Wayne Zakrzewski. "We are here to ask you to level the playing field between sellers that collect sales tax and those who cannot be required to collect the tax because they do business in the community on a virtual rather than physical basis."
"Many of our competitors do not collect, which gives them a competitive advantage. This is not because they are innovative or provide incremental value to the consumer, but because the states do not have the ability to require collection of a tax that is due from the consumer." "We believe there are compelling reasons why Congress should act now to level the playing field," Zakrzewski, whose multi-state company collects sales tax on in-store, catalog and Internet purchases alike, said. "Passage of H.R. 3396 into law would be the appropriate next step to a modern, fair and responsive sales tax system across all participating states and sellers." Never heard of the NRF?
The National Retail Federation is the world's largest retail trade association, with membership that comprises all retail formats and channels of distribution including department, specialty, discount, catalog, Internet, independent stores, chain restaurants, drug stores and grocery stores as well as the industry's key trading partners of retail goods and services. NRF represents an industry with more than 1.6 million U.S. retail establishments, more than 24 million employees - about one in five American workers - and 2006 sales of $4.7 trillion. As the industry umbrella group, NRF also represents more than 100 state, national and international retail associations. www.nrf.com