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From Home Furnishing Business

NAHFA Lobbies for Internet Sales Tax Fairness

The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) is lobbying a legislator to push for marketplace fairness for retailers.

The organization has sent a letter to U.S. Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-Va.),  chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, asking him to draft legislative language based on his "Basic Principles of Internet Sales Tax". 

The Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing entitled “Exploring Alternative Solutions on the Internet Sales Tax Issue” Tuesday March 4 at 10:30 a.m. in Washington, D.C. 

The letter explains that like many others in the retail industry, furniture retailers are facing increasing competition from online sales. Industry data suggests that e-commerce Web sites sold $2.4 billion in furniture in 2011 and that number is expected to double by 2016. Online furniture sales increased 11.1 percent year-over-year in 2012 and account for roughly 9 percent of total furniture sales.

The NAHFA suggests special treatment of online sellers distorts the market and puts local brick-and-mortar businesses at a competitive disadvantage. 

“Our members are strong pillars of the local community and are very well-known, respected, and involved with local activities,” Sharron Bradley, NAHFA CEO, wrote in the letter to Goodlatte. “When their businesses are threatened because they cannot beat an online price point purely due to the application of the sales tax, that not only negatively impacts the owner and the employees, but it creates a ripple effect in a community that will not be repaired by a Web site that has no connection to that locale.” 


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susan lindsey    6 years ago

Agreed, Ron. The National Retail Federation (the Voice of Retail World) and the giant retailers, is endorsing the NAHFA letter to Goodlatte. The big retailers control 90% of the Internet and sell on land and in the Internet, paying sales taxes in both cases because they have ubiquitous physical presence. If smaller NAHFA businesses are not on the Internet, they should be so they can compete. Retail constitutes only 6% of all retail, with 90% controlled by the retail giants that will not be affected by the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA).

Therefore the NAHFA letter, just like the MFA, is chasing a ghost. Both will only further advantage the giant retailers and destroy small business America!

Susan Lindsey    6 years ago

Home Depot, many large furniture companies that operate in every state, Bed Bath & Beyond, and many other examples have both brick and mortar and also sell online. Because they have physical presence, they pay sales taxes in both cases. Only 6% of all retail is selling on line. Of that amount, 90% is controlled by the big retailers. And that figure is growing. So the sales tax is already growing. I would recommend the businesses represented by the NAHFA to begin selling on line if they already are not doing so. Any by the way, who is represented by NAHFA. The National Retail Association, for one, that represents all the retail giants.

To what extent is Wal-Mart offering home furnishings through both walk-in and online sales, all with taxes paid. To what extent is Amazon doing so, speeding to achieve uniform sales tax through one favorable deal cut with states after another? (MFA) would do is prevent the smaller home furnishing companies from competing with the giants that are supporting the NAHFA, won't be affected by the MFA, and would greatly benefit from eliminating competition of the smaller, more innovative home furnishing businesses.

Jeanne    6 years ago

Big Box retailers support the MFA because it would destroy their smaller bricks to clicks online competitors. They pretty much shut down most of the brick and mortar smaller businesses. The implementation costs, audits risks and maintenance costs of this law would pretty much seal the coffin in regard to future small entrepreneurial efforts throughout the U.S.

Ron    6 years ago

Stop hurting micro & small business, Do Not Force Them to compete unfairly with large businesses. Stop the internet tax, and allow a free market to work for the less advantaged.
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