Gilbert goes to Washington

A Webster City small business owner recently traveled to Washington D.C. to express her interest in legislation.

Members of the Alliance for Main Street Fairness (AMSF) from Iowa traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with members of the House Judiciary Committee. Members said that Congress needs to close the online sales tax loophole and pass e-fairness legislation this year. The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold an e-fairness hearing on March 4 where they will explore legislative options on how best to address the issue. The Supreme Court said last year it was up to Congress to deal with the legislative matter of e-fairness.

Connie Gilbert, of Gilbert Jewelers in Webster City, visited Steve King’s office while in Washington D.C.

“We need to get this problem solved or it will be too late for countless businesses that will be forced to close their doors for good. So our message is: Let’s get this done now,” Gilbert said.

Last year, the Senate overwhelmingly passed the Marketplace Fairness Act, e-fairness legislation that closes the online sales tax loophole with nearly 70 bipartisan votes. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte released legislative principles last year that will guide his committee’s approach on drafting legislation. And recently, it was reported that House Judiciary Committee Member, Representative Jason Chaffetz, would be the leading the effort in the House and called the issue a matter of “states’ rights.” Now it’s time for the House of Representatives to put forth legislation that unfairly impacts the mom and pop small businesses on Main Streets all across America.

“We’re not afraid to compete with anyone, but having two sets of rules just isn’t sustainable much longer. We should all be held to the same standards; that’s all we ask,” said Deb Brown, executive director of the Webster City Area Chamber of Commerce.

E-fairness legislation would ensure the government isn’t picking winners and losers in the marketplace and it would close this loophole once and for all by giving states the ability to enforce their own tax laws and treat all retailers equally. The Alliance for Main Street Fairness is made up of thousands of small businesses working to close the online sales tax loophole and seek passage of e-fairness legislation. Many AMSF members maintain an online presence in addition to their brick-and-mortar storefront.