The Cigar Association of America and Pipe Tobacco Council issued the following media release today, calling on Congress to defeat the so-called Marketplace Fairness Act.
Cigar Association of America, Pipe Tobacco Council: Marketplace Fairness Act a “Slap in the Wallet” For U.S. Consumers, Businesses
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, DC — April 24, 2013 — The Cigar Association of America and Pipe Tobacco Council today called on members of Congress to stand together and defeat the Marketplace Fairness Act (also known as the Internet Tax Bill), a massive tax hike that will have disastrous effects for the thousands of American workers employed by online cigar and tobacco retailers.
The Marketplace Fairness Act represents a multibillion-dollar tax hike for American consumers and a costly and damaging proposition for online businesses, as it would require online retailers to collect and remit sales tax from out-of-state consumers. There are more than 10,000 state and local taxing jurisdictions in America, which makes tax collection and remittance extremely costly and complicated for online retailers.
“There is nothing fair about the Marketplace Fairness Act. It’s a slap in the wallet for American consumers and businesses,” said Craig Williamson, president of the Cigar Association of America and Pipe Tobacco Council. “The bill is a giveaway to billion-dollar big-box retailers, and is designed to place online businesses at a significant market disadvantage.”
The effect of the Marketplace Fairness Act could be particularly damaging for the $14 billion cigar industry, which employs tens of thousands of workers in America and abroad. By some industry estimates, more than half of all premium cigar sales are conducted online or via mail.
If the Marketplace Fairness Act were to become law, online retailers would have to contend with complicated tax codes nationwide. The bill would have a direct and negative effect on the profitability of online businesses, which would lose sales at the same time they are forced to make massive investments in order to comply with the law.
“For many online businesses, the Marketplace Fairness Act will mean the difference between operating profitably and closing shop,” said Williamson. “In the midst of an economic recovery, it is difficult to understand why Congress would contemplate a bill that would chill consumer spending and lead to a loss of revenue and jobs. We call on members of Congress to stand up for real fairness and defeat this blatant attack on America’s online businesses.”
The Cigar Association of America, Inc. (CAA) is the national trade organization of cigar manufacturers, importers and distributors as well as major suppliers to the industry.
The Pipe Tobacco Council is a national trade organization of pipe tobacco manufacturers and distributors.