Sparks Council Requests Online Sales Tax from Congress

SPARKS, NV - It's a call for Congress to require online retailers to charge sales tax. The City of Sparks signed a resolution Tuesday in support of the Marketplace Fairness Act.

Local businesses often find it hard to compete with online retailers because their prices are lower, they may offer free shipping, and they are not required to collect sales tax. The goal of this resolution is to require sales tax online so local businesses have a fighting chance.

Kim Hunter, owner of local shop Sierra Style, was excited to hear about the Marketplace Fairness Act.

"I think it makes it a more competitive market for us small local businesses," said Hunter, who is constantly having to compete with online retailers.

"Most places now ship for free, and then you have no sales tax. That can be quite a savings depending on how high of a ticket item you are buying," said Hunter.

It's a problem the City of Sparks is aware of; the council on Tuesday night signed a resolution asking congress to make sales tax mandatory online.

"We hope people will support the local businesses and get off the internet, and buy local," said Sparks Mayor Geno Martini.

Martini says the goal is supporting local businesses, but local municipalities will also benefit.

"The money will go to the state, the state will distribute to the counties, the counties to the cities so that will help us in that respect," said Martini.

The bill has already passed through the U.S. Senate, but it's stalled at the House.

"We hope that resolutions like the one from Sparks yesterday will really encourage the House of Representatives to take the issue up as well," said Bryan Wachter with the Retail Association of Nevada.

"Government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers. If you are going to have a set of rules, they should apply to everybody," said Wachter.

That is how Kim Hunter has felt all along. Now she's just waiting for the feds to make it law.

"I think it is a win-win for everybody," said Hunter.

The Nevada State Legislature gave its support for the marketplace fairness act earlier this year. Right now, the Retail Association of Nevada is calling on more municipalities and businesses to make their wishes known.

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