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N.J. retail group to lobby for online sales tax law

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The New Jersey Retail Merchants Association will lobby federal lawmakers Tuesday and Wednesday to pass online sales tax legislation currently facing delays.

National retail groups believe legislation is needed for states to collect taxes from online-only retailers without a physical presence in state. This would eliminate an unfair advantage against brick-and-mortar stores that are required to collect sales taxes when online retailers do not.

In retaliation, the National Taxpayers Union has been conducting nationwide rallies and releasing surveys showing Americans don’t want to pay taxes on online purchases. 

John Holub, president of the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association, told NorthJersey.com that he will lead a group of retailers into more than 60 meetings today and tomorrow to tell lawmakers “enough is enough.”

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“Every day that goes by that this issue is not resolved, the problem is compounded. With online sales becoming increasingly more popular by the day, it continues to threaten the very health and vitality of Main Street retailers.”

The legislation was previously stalled in the House of Representatives for over a year after passing easily in the Senate in May 2013 — and with Congress scheduled to recess this Friday, the delay is likely to continue.

A Supreme Court ruling in 1992 has allowed online retailers to avoid collecting sales taxes if they refrain from having a physical presence in the state — the law was originally designed to apply to catalog companies.

New Jersey has already begun requiring the largest online retailer, Amazon, to collect sales tax.


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