retailers welcome opportunity to compete on level sales tax playing field
In big news out of Washington, D.C. this morning, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a level sales tax playing field in South Dakota v. Wayfair. The case centered on a loophole in the law that allowed retailers without a physical presence in the state to avoid collecting and remitting state sales tax.
The Minnesota Retailers Association (MnRA) has long held the position that retail sales should be treated the same--whether in-store or online and regardless of the location of the retailer.
"It appears fairness is on a path to prevailing. Today's decision is a big moment for Minnesota retailers that have argued for sales tax fairness for years and years," said MnRA President Bruce Nustad in reaction to the news. "This is a great step in leveling the playing field and ensuring an online sale has the same tax treatment as an in-store sale."
"This issue has plagued retailers in towns across Minnesota as well across the country for years. Retailers welcome the opportunity to compete for customers on service, convenience and price, without a competitor having an unfair tax advantage," added Nustad.
In 2013 MnRA worked with the Minnesota Legislature and Governor to ensure retailers with a physical presence in Minnesota were collecting sales tax on their online sales, and in anticipation of today's decision the Association last year worked on remote-seller language to cover third-party marketplace transactions beginning July 1, 2019 or when a favorable decision was delivered (as it was today) by the U.S. Supreme Court.
With today's ruling, MnRA will take the next steps of analyzing the decision and continuing to work with our elected officials as well as the Minnesota Department of Revenue.
MnRA thanks the countless number of retailers that have worked on this issue over the years, as well as our legislative partners at the state and federal level.
Read the full decision here.
The Minnesota Retailers Association (MnRA) thanks economic development officials and Governor Mark Dayton for taking a measured and thoughtful approach when responding to Amazon’s second headquarters request for proposal.
“Today’s economic development environment is certainly competitive, and it is tempting to focus solely on attracting new jobs,” said Minnesota Retailers Association President Bruce Nustad. “For our state, there is a need for balance between improving the overall environment for existing businesses that invest in our communities and offering incentives to attract new businesses.”
As an organization representing a diverse retail industry, MnRA sees every day how important retailers and the jobs they provide are to each community around the State. Minnesota’s retail community includes over 50,000 retailers impacting more than 788,000 jobs.
Games By James' Glenn McKee & The Border Adjustment Tax
Most small retailers don't have a moment to spare. And neither did Glenn McKee when he got the call about going to Washington, DC to talk with Minnesota's elected officials about the proposed border adjustment tax a month and a half ago.
But McKee, owner of several Games by James and Air Traffic stores, decided to take a few days away from running his business to tell his real life story about how the proposed high import tax would negatively impact his suppliers and ultimately his customers.
McKee's efforts and those of many other retailers produced important results last week when an influential group of legislators announced that the border adjustment tax had been dropped from the federal budget plan.
Following an initial visit to DC in June, McKee made a second trip a week later, and a third just two weeks ago to deliver the message that the border adjustment tax threatens to damage retailers of all sizes with noticeable impacts on communities across Minnesota.
"If you don't think one or two or three or 10 conversations can make a difference, try telling that to Glenn McKee" said Minnesota Retailers Association president Bruce Nustad. "The pressure to pass the border adjustment tax was tremendous, but voices like Glenn's made a made a huge difference in this conversation. We are so grateful to Glenn and others."
"In the beginning I questioned how my voice as a retailer in Minnesota could impact on this conversation", said McKee in reaction to the announcement. "But it turns out delivering the straight story and helping those that are elected to represent us understand this issue had a deep impact. I feel like I made a difference."
Glenn McKee, owner of Games by James and MnRA Board member, along with Devee McNally and Julie McAdam of Madesmart in front of the U.S. Capitol after paying visits to Minnesota's federal elected officials in opposition of the border adjustment tax.