It seems we were right.

The last time we discussed the Marketplace Fairness Act the bill was gaining momentum. The U.S. Senate had just passed the bill in a 69-27 vote, and brick-and-mortar retailers and supporters nationwide rejoiced.

But we projected there was still a long road ahead to passing this critical piece of legislation into law.

According to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), 68 cents of every $1 spent at a shopping center stays in the community. But for every dollar spent with an online retailer, nothing stays in the community. The Marketplace Fairness Act would give states the authority to collect sales tax from online retailers – a major step in the right direction for the retail industry.

PRO EFAIRNESS: Kimco centers demonstrate support through signage.

But despite its innocuous name, the act has been the cause of much debate in the industry, and on The Hill. After the last Senate vote, House Republications were reluctant to take up the measure, and vowed to propose new legislation. House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) was charged with crafting the new House draft, which he said would satisfy both brick-and-mortar retailers and nationwide Internet retailers that have opposed the bill since day one.

MEET THE EXPERT: Betsy Laird, Senior Staff VP of Global Public Policy, ICSC.

To discuss the intricacies of the Marketplace Fairness, and what it means for retailers, we spoke with Betsy Laird, Senior Staff Vice President, Global Public Policy of the ICSC. The ICSC is a leading voice in the effort to promote efairness, and hosts a plethora of news, information, and resources on the topic on the website After our conversation, Betsy also shared some cartoons the ICSC has used to help create awareness and visibility of this effort in the marketplace.

Take a listen to the full podcast below, or read the transcript, and be sure to continue scrolling for a glimpse at the ICSC's efairness funnies.

  • 1:20 An overview of the ICSC
  • 3:00 The ICSC’s involvement and advocacy around efairness
  • 4:19 Current tax systems for retailers
  • 5:15 Tax requirements for brick-and-mortar retailers
  • 5:53 The tax solution the ICSC is seeking and why Congress has to get involved
  • 6:45 What the legislation for the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2015 entails, and what’s different from the last act
  • 7:55 The bill’s exemption for small businesses
  • 8:20 What the legislation changes for brick-and-mortar retailers
  • 8:55 When we will hear an update on the status of the bill
  • 9:25 What businesses or individuals can do to learn more or get involved in the efforts to promote efairness
  • 10:40 Understanding why this is a due tax, not a new tax, and how it will end unfair advantages in the industry
  • CATEGORY: General
  • DATE: Tuesday, April 28, 2015