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Internet Sales Tax: It’s not enough to make your voice heard!

April 22nd, 2013 by Skip McGrath

This morning’s post is an email I received from a group I belong to – The Professional eBay Sellers Alliance (PESA).  It is about the Internet Sales Tax.  Please read and take action.  If the Marketplace Fairness Act passes it will be a disaster for all online sellers.

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If you are reading this email, you are one of over 40,000 professionals, whom over the last 10 years, has been proud to call yourself a PESA member or industry partner of the Professional eBay Sellers Alliance organization. You operate a $1 million to $100+ million business, or you are a national or international media correspondent, or you are an industry service provider, or a financial analyst.  You have attended one of our 20 major PESA Summit ‘first of its kind’ business conferences here in the United States or in Australia. As an organization, PESA has provided you with an unprecedented uniquely qualified network, rich in resources that have inspired tremendous collaborative innovation.

Collectively, your turnover is in excess of $50+ billion dollar in gross ecommerce and brick and mortar sales across various marketplace and other website channels. Some of you have complex multichannel strategies; others have incubated or transitioned a mere germ of an idea into a viable livelihood for your family.

As a group, each of you has a network of your own, the total net cumulative value of which touches hundreds of billions of dollars and tens of millions of other professionals.

The above numbers thus prove that we can make a difference together. However, these numbers also prove that if you do not act as an individual; your world as well as ours, even at this massive scale, will change forever. Tomorrow, Monday 21, 2013 will be the day you either acted or not.

On a certain parallel, most entrepreneurs skim the boundaries of politics but make a detour at the border crossing.

However, if you do not act this time, on this occasion, you are essentially granting license to a mere handful of individuals to determine the future of your business. All of the investment control, planning and innovation you have worked so hard to incorporate in your business survival, competitive and growth strategies will be washed away with just a few votes in Washington.

This week, legislators in Washington, D.C. begin the process of voting on – your –  future livelihood and prosperity. I could fill this email with the very precise details of the exhaustive perils that the proposed, {so called} [Marketplace Fairness Act] will bring to bear, with unrelenting force on the essential future viability of your business specifically, how it will transform the fundamental nature of the Internet itself; and ultimately, how it will impact our national economy’s ability to perform in the global arena.

In essence, it is of paramount importance for you to know at this juncture, that votes are being rendered in Washington, D.C. this week that will instantly change your world, (in many cases forcing otherwise healthy businesses to adopt radical austerity measures and in all too many other instances cause business like yours to literally close their doors). This by legislators who simply do not have all the facts regarding the serious implications of their decisions. It is not uncommon for government to lack practical business experience. And, it is not uncommon for business to gravitate in a universe removed from governmental affairs. But, the truth is that both business and government are intimately dependent on each other. We are so reliant on each other, in fact, that this core relationship has vast systemic implications for our nation as a whole.

If you allow an Internet Sales Tax to be introduced as a result of inaction, we all experience an immediate consequence to our businesses and a domino ripple effect that will reverberate throughout the entire economy.  The correlation between inaction and consequence will be both swift and immediate.

– It’s not enough to make your voice heard.

– You must reach out to your network and encourage everyone to make their voice heard. Put your network to work on this critical issue. An issue that affects all of us.

– Reach out to Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH). She has championed the fight to defeat the passage of this online sales tax amendment. Please read her recent press release below.

– Join the WeRHere Coalition and sign their petition as well. http://werherecoalition.org/ . PESA is a business trade organization platform, not affiliated with WeRHere. WeRHere is an excellent political platform where you can express your political concerns.

– If you sell on eBay, please visit: http://www.ebayinternetsalestax.com/ist/step1_s.asp

You must reach out to your network via blog, email, Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, press release or any other communication medium available to you. Simply educate and inform your legislators on this matter. Help them grow in their awareness of the impact to your business and the national economy. In those instances where we made legislators, who were previously uninformed or mis-informed, aware of the facts, they were quick to lend their full understanding and support.

The Marketplace Fairness Act fails on nearly every level. The compliance costs are unsustainable. The proposed exemptions are unmanageable. The proposed technological solutions are a prehistoric recipe for disaster. With respect to fairness, I find it astonishing to think that anyone could believe adding this level of friction and complexity to the economy could be a good idea. All the gains that true technology and innovation have brought to our shared economic table in the form of a free and vibrant Internet will be instantly unraveled to cast us back into darker ages past. I also find it astonishing to think that some billion dollar retailers, such as Amazon with all of their strategic and proiprietary advantages would resort to such primitive measures as this to eliminate you as their competition.
 

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