Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD) today endorsed and applauded the efforts of Illinois Senator Richard Durbin to level the sales tax collection playing field for local businesses.
Durbin today introduced legislation called the Main Street Fairness Act which gives states the ability to enforce existing laws and require out-of-state online retailers to collect and remit sales taxes on purchases to its residents. Currently most of those taxes are not being collected and states such as Illinois are losing hundreds of millions in revenue.
In a statement released today, Sears Holdings, parent company of Sears, Roebuck and Co., Kmart and Lands’ End, said:
“The Durbin legislation will restore balance and fairness to the system by enabling states to enforce the collection of taxes that are already owed by every customer making a purchase, whether the purchase is online or in a retail store. This is a critical step in addressing an issue that has resulted in over a decade of unfair competition between retailers who collect the sales tax and those who refuse to do so. Over the years, some have – intentionally and unintentionally – misrepresented the issue as a “new tax.” This is not a new tax, although, unfortunately, most customers don’t realize that they have the obligation to pay these taxes if they are not collected by the merchant. This legislation simply eliminates the need for customers to file and pay use taxes or to include the tax owed on their income tax return. Instead, with this legislation, states will be allowed to require online-only sellers to collect the tax at the point of sale just as they do with retailers who have a physical presence in the state. We thank Senator Durbin for bringing clarity to the issue.
Many states are grappling with unprecedented budget deficits and they, too, are passing bipartisan legislation to close this loophole that has given a significant and unfair competitive advantage to a handful of online-only retailers, while hurting those that create jobs and invest in local communities.
We appreciate the hard work Senator Durbin has put into this cause and as a corporate citizen in his home state of Illinois, we are committed to building bipartisan support for a comprehensive federal solution for all states – ultimately winning passage in Congress. We are grateful to state and federal policymakers on both sides of the aisle who have already joined in this cause and look forward to working with them and Senator Durbin in the future.”
About Sears Holdings Corporation
Sears Holdings Corporation is the nation’s fourth largest broadline retailer with over 4,000 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada. Sears Holdings is the leading home appliance retailer as well as a leader in tools, lawn and garden, consumer electronics and automotive repair and maintenance. Sears Holdings is the 2011 ENERGY STAR® Retail Partner of the Year. Key proprietary brands include Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard, and a broad apparel offering, including such well-known labels as Lands’ End, Jaclyn Smith and Joe Boxer, as well as the Apostrophe and Covington brands. It also has the Country Living collection, which is offered by Sears and Kmart. We are the nation’s largest provider of home services, with more than 11 million service calls made annually. Sears Holdings Corporation operates through its subsidiaries, including Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corporation. For more information, visit Sears Holdings’ website at www.searsholdings.com.
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