Call to Action Archives

May 2013
Call-to-Action: Contact your U.S. Senator and ask them to support Senate Bill 743 (formerly numbered S. 336) to modernize our nation’s tax policy and provide equity between online and brick-and-mortar retailers. See instructions below for more information on how to contact your Senators.

On April 10, IREM and CCIM Institute went to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. to lobby on important industry issues, one of which was Internet sales tax fairness. Since the Hill Visit, the U.S. Senate has moved on Senate Bill 336 (S. 336), dealing with Internet sales tax fairness, the “Marketplace Fairness Act.” Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, decided to move the legislation to the Senate floor for debate and potentially a vote. He moved S. 336 through to the Senate floor bypassing the committee process. Accordingly, S. 336 was renumbered to S. 743, which are identical pieces of legislation.

CCIM Institute and IREM support the Marketplace Fairness Act because online stores may put brick and mortar storefronts out of business. Online retailers have an unfair advantage by being able to charge consumers less on the final bill of sale. Brick and mortar stores serve as a “showroom” where shoppers compare products, ask merchant questions, and then order products online because the price is less. The Marketplace Fairness Act would clarify the law and would give states power to decide whether or not they would enforce online sales tax collection.

Brick-and-mortar stores have a stronger impact on our economy than do internet retailers. According to a 2011 study from the University of Tennessee, each $1 million of new retail sales in traditional brick-and-mortar establishments adds 3.61 jobs. For example, the same $1 million in new sales at Amazon would create 0.88 jobs. One out of every 11 U.S. jobs is shopping center-related.

Opponents of S. 743 claim this would create an “unnecessary tax burden on small online businesses” however; there is a small business exemption of $1 million, clearly stated in S. 743. Opponents also claim this is a new tax. It is not a new tax, in fact, responsibility to pay the sales or use tax for online purchases falls onto the consumer which is typically forgotten about when tax season rolls around.

The Senate has debated and commented on S. 743. We anticipate that the Senate will vote on S. 743 during the week of May 6. We see an opportunity for IREM and CCIM Institute to voice our position on Internet sales tax which will have a positive impact on our industry and the economy. We urge members to contact their U.S. Senators and ask for support of this important legislation and vote YES on S. 743.

This matter is extremely time-sensitive, so please contact your U.S. Senator by May 6, 2013.
 
How to Contact your Senators:

  1. Look up your Senators by state at the following website: www.senate.gov (look at the top right of this website)
  2. In all forms of communication (email or fax), introduce yourself in a sentence or two.  For instance: I am a constituent and a property manager or I am a constituent and a commercial real estate broker who works for...
  3. Use the information above to explain your position and request (feel free to cut and paste this information).  You are encouraged to add your own examples.  
  4. If you will be faxing your legislators, print your letter on your company letterhead. 
  5. If you email your Senator, please copy your respective organization’s legislative liaison (see below) in the email you send to your U.S. Senator’s office. You can put the call-to-action request directly in the body of the email, or write a letter on your business letterhead and send a PDF of the letter.
    1. For IREM: Beth Wanless at bwanless@irem.org
    2. For CCIM Institute: Adriann Murawski at amurawski@ccim.com
  6. For questions, please contact your legislative liaison:
    1. For IREM: Beth Wanless at bwanless@irem.org or 312-329-6021
    2. For CCIM Institute: Adriann Murawski at amurawski@ccim.com or 312-329-6033