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ND, SD retail groups urge online sales tax collection

By Northern Plains News

North and South Dakota Retailer Associations joined in a joint letter sent Tuesday to U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte calling for immediate action on the collection of online sales taxes from purchasers.

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The groups say online retailers continue to have a competitive advantage over traditional retailers, as they are not forced to collect state sales taxes.

Hundreds of organizations that collectively represent more than three million American businesses and organizations co-signed the letter.

Citing more than 20 years of inaction and the Supreme Court’s recent decision affirming that this is a matter for Congress to address, the letter urges Congress “to make the 2013 holiday shopping season the last where Main Street businesses must compete at a government-created price disadvantage.”

In the letter, the groups argue special treatment of remote sellers distorts the market and puts many local brick-and-mortar businesses at a competitive disadvantage.

The letter also noted that 2013’s Cyber Monday’s sales increased 20.6 percent over 2012.