Marketplace Fairness Act Dead For 2014;
Supreme Court Hears Colorado
What Comes Next?
Dear Industry Executive:
One of the biggest challenges of the work we do is to carefully gauge when to declare victory vs. laying low as issues continue to develop. Thus is the case with our three-year effort to get the right legislative change to the 22-year-old use-tax precedent established in Quill v. North Dakota now that the 113th Congress has ended without passing the potentially catastrophic Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA).
While also keeping our enthusiasm in check, we are encouraged by the tax case in Colorado that was heard by the Supreme Court on December 8th and argued on behalf of our TruST partner, the DMA, by George Isaacson of Brann & Isaacson, who also advises TruST.
Most, if not all, of what you're reading here today can have a significant impact on catalogers, even those who operate retail store chains. We have broken this report up into three segments for you. First, directly below you'll find a brief recap. Within the bullets are links to two separate updates on both the Federal and Colorado tax cases. In the third bullet we provide information on how you can help us carry this successful fight forward and continue this important work on your behalf.
While we herald the death of the MFA as a HUGE victory for ACMA and our True Simplification of Taxation (TruST) coalition, we still must "curb our enthusiasm" a bit on this. We've won the battle, but the war definitely will continue in the 114th Congress next month. One thing is eminently clear: the Quill precedent is unlikely to stand much longer. Senate and House proponents of MFA have vowed to hit the ground running once the 114th is up and running.
New bills will be introduced and we have credible insight that even an amended version of MFA will still need a lot of work, requiring significant lobbying efforts on our part. Our ultimate goal is to see this law changed in a way that does not unfairly hurt remote marketers. Click here for more on this.
The US Supreme Court is currently deliberating over the case of DMA v. Brohl, in which ACMA’s TruST partner, the Direct Marketing Association, has challenged Colorado’s efforts to force remote sellers without a physical presence in Colorado to turn over the names, addresses, and purchasing histories of their Colorado customers and to send annually to each of their Colorado customers a notice of the amount of their purchases during the preceding year - in essence being forced to "rat out" their own customers. A major issue at play is whether out of state companies can have access to the more impartial federal court system. ACMA filed a friend of the court brief in support of DMA's position.
The Court is expected to render a decision by the end of May 2015. Brann & Isaacson has provided a complete recap of the December 8th proceedings for ACMA. Click here to read it.
Neither TruST nor the DMA could have gotten this far in the Federal legislation and Colorado tax case, respectively, without industry help. As these battles continue into the 114th, both will require additional resources. While we have been very frugal with monies raised to date, the simple fact is, it takes funds to make things happen in D.C. Please click here to donate online with credit card or send a brief email to email@example.com to let us know you'd like to contribute to one or both of these causes and we'll help guide you to make the proper donation. We really need this to be a broad-based effort; even a $50 contribution will help support this work and let us know you care.
Please also contact us to find out how you can start making contact with your Members of Congress to influence the policy debate on sales/use tax. The bottom line is we need your help and we need it now. Thank you, in advance, for supporting ACMA's, TruST's and DMA's work. As the outcomes of both these cases remain up in the air, you cannot afford not to get involved.
### About ACMA ACMA is a Washington-based not-for-profit organization specifically created to advocate for the unique collective interests of catalog mailers in regulatory, public and administrative matters where the shared impact transcends individual company interests. The only catalog owned and controlled trade group focused solely on the business interests of catalogers and their supply chain, ACMA participates in rule-making and other proceedings of significance where a single collective voice increases influence and effectiveness. Membership is open to any party with direct interests in the catalog industry. More information can be found at www.catalogmailers.org.