Wednesday, May 28, 2014 | 2:01 a.m.
I read with some amusement the May 20 letter from Mark S. Thorsen II in support of the so-called Marketplace Fairness Act.
Thorsen fails to note that if this misguided bill — which passed the Senate despite principled bipartisan opposition — were to become law, the consequences for small online retailers would be catastrophic.
Many of these retailers are small mom-and-pop operations, based in basements or garages. These businesses would be required to comply with the laws of almost 10,000 taxing jurisdictions across the country — and could be threatened with audits from them, as well, despite having no presence there whatsoever.
For Thorsen, the general manager of the Meadows Mall, to make this argument is especially disingenuous. What would he say if the clerks in every one of his mall’s stores were required to ask customers where they lived and collect and remit the appropriate sales taxes for that jurisdiction? No doubt it’d be a logistical nightmare!
Thorsen is right that Congress should act to ensure a level playing field for 21st century commerce, one that would ensure that small, nimble online retailers — the embodiment of the 21st century economy — are on an equal footing with such 20th century throwbacks as shopping malls.
The writer is the executive director of the WE R HERE Coalition.