Throughout the month of August, your congressional delegation typically puts business on hold in Washington, D.C., and heads home. The “August Recess” is designed to give members of Congress and their staff some time to reorient, so it’s one of the very best times for constituents to communicate with them, either in person or in writing. Your advocacy has the most impact during this period because it allows your congressional representation to come face-to-face with the fiscal effects that federal preemption legislation has on localities within their districts. Please reach out to your member of Congress today urging them to support and co-sponsor the Remote Transactions Parity Act (RTPA) (HR 2775).

The RTPA would compel retailers to collect taxes on remote sales, based on the consumer’s location. Passing this legislation would finally bring federal law into the digital age by enabling state and local governments to collect sales taxes on online purchases that are already owed to them but not being paid. These bills would also level the playing field for brick-and-mortar retailers who currently face a competitive disadvantage of 5-10%, compared to remote sellers, because Congress has failed to act to update national tax laws with respect to digital sales.

Your direct outreach to your member of Congress is critical to advancing this legislation through the federal legislative process this year.  Please take a few minutes during this key time to send a letter urging your Congressional representative to support RTPA.

We encourage you to explore and use the resources available on GFOA’s RTPA Resource Page including a RTPA sample letter to Congressional Representatives, as well other material such as talking points and a sample Op-ed. Click here to find out the local address to send the letter and copy for hand-delivery to your Representative’s D.C. office.

Want to learn a little more about the Marketplace Fairness Act?  On August 12 at 1pm (Eastern), GFOA’s Mike Bailey, finance director for the City of Redmond, WA and Dustin McDonald, director of GFOA’s Federal Liaison Center, will lead a joint webinar with the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) on federal efforts to require online retails to collect and remit sales taxes to state and local governments. The webinar is FREE for GFOA and ASPA members. Register for this webinar.