in Naperville was the setting for U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin's news conference Friday where he discussed the Marketplace Fairness Act, legislation that would require out of state Internet businesses to collect state and local sales tax.
Anderson's is representative of the small, local brick-and-mortar businesses across the state and the country that collect sales taxes, he said, adding that their online competitors have an unfair advantage because they do not collect sales taxes, Durbin said.
Durbin said he has been working for some time with other senators from both parties to craft legislation that would effectively address the issue. Online retailer Amazon.com is on board with the legislation because it would be uniform across the country, Durbin said.
He said that small mom and pop businesses or people selling a minimum amount of goods online would be exempt, but the threshold has yet to be determined.
The legislation would not be creating any new taxes, but merely enforcing taxes that already exist. While a brick-and-mortar business, such as Anderson's Bookshop, is required to collect taxes for fear of penalties, Internet companies have not been abiding by the same rules, Durbin said.
While he said a business like Anderson's would still have to compete for sales, at least the playing field would be more level.
It is estimated the state of Illinois loses an estimated $183 million in sales tax revenue every year because Internet retailers are not collecting the taxes, he said.
"The Marketplace Fairness Act doesn't ask anyone to pay a single penny more in taxes,” Durbin said in a news release. “Instead, it would help governors and mayors collect taxes that are already owed."