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Your Views: Close online sales tax loophole to support local businesses

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August 16, 2013

As a small-business owner, I pride myself in competing in the free market. The long hours, time and dedication it takes to succeed are truly rewarding, and I wouldn't trade them for anything. Businesses like mine know we must offer great service, great prices and great value or people will shop elsewhere. All we expect is that, as we compete for customers with our competitors, we all play by the same set of rules.

Unfortunately, that's not the case today when it comes to sales tax collections. Currently, Internet-only businesses do not have to collect sales tax, while stores like mine have to charge and collect sales taxes. This loophole allows out-of-state, online businesses to offer artificial price advantages.

The good news is that there is a simple solution to this problem. Legislation to close this online tax loophole passed the U.S. Senate with broad, bipartisan vote in May. All that is left is for the U.S. House to take up the measure, known as the Marketplace Fairness Act.

Even more good news is that, thanks to the state budget Gov. Scott Walker recently signed into law, Wisconsin is poised to use revenue that comes in from Congress passing the Marketplace Fairness Act to lower state income taxes.

Leveling the playing field for local businesses and reducing state taxes—seems like a win-win scenario. I am hoping Wisconsin's congressional delegation votes in favor of the Marketplace Fairness Act.

LETITIA ERDMAN

Owner, I Love Funky's

Lake Geneva



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