WE R HERE Announces Formation Of State Chapters, Expanded Membership

WE R HERE Executive Director and taxpayer fairness advocate Phil Bond today released the following statement announcing the formation of WE R HERE state chapters in New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia as well as strong membership growth to date in 2014:

“The formation of state chapters in New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia, and the overall growth in national membership, demonstrate the growing level of concern and interest among small online retailers as we approach this week’s Judiciary Committee hearing. Congressmen and Senators are hearing from thousands of WE R HERE members regarding their concerns about the misnamed Marketplace Fairness Act, and what it means for their businesses. I look forward to working with our new members, and our state chapter chairmen, as we continue to fight for an equitable outcome based on Chairman Goodlatte’s principles.

“Our members are most supportive of the Chairman’s principles. Chief among those are two notions: that any fair solution must be simple and not represent a new and unfair burden on small online retailers; and that there be “no regulation without representation” so that auditors are not unleashed to roam the internet looking to audit companies outside their states.”

On news of the House hearing scheduled for March 12th, WE R HERE membership surged, with over 1,200 members joining the coalition, and bringing total membership to over 12,000.

WE R HERE New Hampshire chapter president Joe Cortese, a coin and stamp dealer, spoke in support of the coalition:

“The internet’s global reach is a perfect fit for my business. There are very few places where I can do what I’m doing and with no question sell my whole inventory. But my business, and countless others like mine, is under threat from the Marketplace Fairness Act. I appreciate what WE R HERE is doing to help businesses like mine fight back.”

Daniel P. Regenold, Ohio chapter president and CEO of FrameUSA.com, emphasized the threat that the MFA poses to businesses like his:

“Running a small web-enabled retailer near Cincinnati, I understand the danger that the Marketplace Fairness Act poses to my business and others in Ohio and across the country. If that bill becomes law, I will be confronted by a tidal wave of regulatory burdens and the real risk of audits in cities, counties or states where I have no presence and no representation. I look forward to working with WE R HERE to tell my story and others like me to Ohio’s Congressional delegation.”

Virginia chapter president Jon Gonzales agreed:

“As a small online retailer based in Gainesville, Virginia, I really appreciate the WE R HERE’s efforts on behalf of business owners like me. WE R HERE gives us a voice in Washington and helps fight back against Walmart and Amazon as they try to saddle us with the Marketplace Fairness Act.”