WE R HERE: Don’t Be Fooled By Big-Box Deflections

For Immediate Release:
March 18, 2013

Rob Vernon

WE R HERE: Don’t Be Fooled By Big-Box Deflections

WASHINGTON, DC – With a potential budget amendment vote looming in the United States Senate on empty language designed by big-box retailers to grease the skids for Internet sales tax legislation, the WE R HERE coalition has activated its membership of 10,000 small online retailers to contact their senators.

Since the coalition first caught wind of a possible Internet sales tax amendment to federal budget legislation, nearly 1,000 letters have been sent to senators. Small businesses from around the country are urging their elected representatives to consider the fate of small businesses in their state should an Internet sales tax collection mandate ever be considered in either chamber..

Pro-tax organizations, such as “Stand With Mainstreet,” have sought recently to confuse the issue with mismatched “facts,” when in reality they are committed to raising online barriers for small businesses and ultimately making it harder for new and small online retailers to compete with established big-box players. Because undermining small businesses that use the Internet is an unpopular idea, proponents of raising barriers to competition focus on confusing policymakers by quoting legislators that have not endorsed the legislation in question, or by dismissing the concerns of the small businesses that would have to deal with new collection burdens by claiming solutions are “simple” and “free”. That is simply untrue.  

WE R HERE includes some 10,000 small business retailers who use the Internet to sell products across the country, including on a variety of online platforms. They all have different and unique tax obligations, including for sales taxes. The fact that software exists to help the largest retailers who already have to deal with complicated multi-state sales tax obligations because they are multi-state businesses is not a reason to treat small businesses the same as Amazon.com for sales taxes. In fact, Amazon.com was responsible for two-thirds of all uncollected taxes from e-commerce last year.

Any small business retailer that today will face tax and law enforcement actions in states thousands of miles away will be undermined by the legislation that “Stand With Mainstreet” supports.  Keeping the Internet as open to small business as it is today is the right policy for jobs, growth and consumers, and we wish “Stand With Mainstreet” was actually looking out for the interest of innovative small businesses in our communities.  

For more information about the WE R HERE coalition and its members, visit www.werherecoalition.org.


WE R HERE is a coalition comprised of small business retailers around the country who are using the Internet and are coming together to ensure government policies are enacted that create a fair marketplace for all types of retail businesses to thrive and innovation to prosper. WE R HERE gives small business online retailers a unified voice, demonstrating to government policy makers and opinion leaders the positive role of online small business retail in the 21st Century economy. The coalition effort mobilizes online retailers to work together to protect them from misguided and predatory laws and regulations that could kill jobs and undermine innovation.