Local Merchants Seek To "Level Playing Field" Online - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

Local Merchants Seek To "Level Playing Field" Online

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Richmond, VA—Several local merchants are banding together, calling for a change in the loophole that exempts customers from paying sales tax on many online purchases.

Pleasants Hardware, Saxon Shoes and La Diff Furniture are all fighting back against big business through the Marketplace Fairness Act.

"It's really about fairness, as the name implies, fairness in the marketplace," says James Hatcher of Pleasants Hardware.

The Marketplace Fairness Act would require states to enforce existing laws, instead of creating anything new. It would require "e-tailers" to charge the same sales tax as traditional brick and mortar stores, with no exceptions.

Nancy Thomas of the Retail Merchants Association explains, ""When you're not charging that sales tax you already have an edge on the local retailers."

Sarah Paxton of La Diff Furniture further illuminates the problem. ""When you're talking about five percent on a 2000-dollar furniture purchase for instance, it can be a big difference."

More than sixty members of Congress have singed the Marketplace Fairness Act, and the three businesses at its center are calling for Mark Warner and Tim Kaine to sign, as well.

The goal of the legislation is to allow mom and pop shops to compete in the global marketplace online.

Nancy Thomas says the merchants just want a fair chance at success. "Level the playing field and let's put everybody on the same base and collect the tax that is already owed to the state." 

Stay with 8News for updates.

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