NSGA's Mission is to help our members be more profitable, and to advocate on their behalf. There are currently many issues the association is monitoring on behalf of its members. If you have additional issues upon which NSGA should weigh in, please utilize the contact information below.
NSGA Contact: Bruce Hammond, Director of Marketing & Communications, (847) 296-6742, ext. 1020, or firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Proposed Swipe Fee Settlement
NSGA Opposes Proposed Swipe Fee Settlement
On behalf of our members, NSGA opposes the proposed settlement between Visa and MasterCard, and the numerous merchant plaintiffs in the Photos Etc. Corp., et al. v. Visa U.S.A. Inc., et al. class action lawsuit. This suit is antitrust litigation between merchants and the credit card industry, and has been ongoing for several years. Although NSGA is not a class action plaintiff in the case, the association has read the proposed settlement and feels if it is adopted, our members will be negatively affected.
A major issue with the proposed settlement, which has been summarily rejected by numerous trade associations, including the National Association of Convenience Stores, the National Restaurant Association, and the National Retail Federation, is a waiver of future claims that has been described in this way: "Class plaintiffs and every member of the settlement class (all non opt-outs) forever release all legal claims against Visa, MasterCard and the bank defendants..."
It is NSGA's opinion, and the opinion of these other trade associations, that the best interest of members is to reject any proposed settlement that restricts the right of merchants to fight the credit card companies should the need arise in the future.
If you'd like to weigh in on this issue, please contact NSGA's Director of Marketing & Communications, Bruce Hammond, by emailing email@example.com, or by calling (847) 296-6742, ext. 1020.
2. Internet Sales Tax Issue
NSGA Joins Marketplace Fairness Coalition
WASHINGTON, DC AND MOUNT PROSPECT, IL, (February 13, 2013) – Today, the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) joined businesses and trade associations from across the country in the formation of the Marketplace Fairness Coalition. The Coalition will serve as a focal point of support for the business community in the ongoing effort to pass federal legislation that empowers states to update their sales and use tax laws to level the playing field for all sellers.
The Coalition is comprised of businesses of every size, sector and channel of product distribution, including both brick-and-mortar and online sellers, located in every state throughout the country. The diverse membership reflects the broad support for modernizing the current sales and use tax framework so that all businesses will play by the same rules.
According to NSGA’s President & CEO Matt Carlson, “Joining the Marketplace Fairness Coalition, which seeks to level the playing field for all bricks-and-mortar retailers, will help ensure that the voice of sporting goods retailers is heard on this important issue. It is our hope that legislation will be enacted that will ensure fairness for our members who are at a distinct disadvantage compared to their online-only competitors.”
Over the past several years, many companies and organizations from across the country have urged Congress to enact marketplace fairness legislation. With the introduction tomorrow of bipartisan companion Senate and House bills – the Marketplace Fairness Act – they believe that the time has come to formally join together to level the playing field for all sellers and support a marketplace that is vibrant, viable and equitable for everyone.
The Coalition applauds Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-SD), and Representatives Steve Womack (R-AR), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Peter Welch (D-VT) and John Conyers (D-MI) for their leadership on this issue and for building strong bipartisan support for the legislation. The Marketplace Fairness Act will give all sellers the chance to compete in a free market without government preferences, relieve consumers of having to self-report sales/use taxes they already owe, exempt truly small businesses, and give states a roadmap for simplification that will provide them with flexibility to respond to today’s evolving marketplace.
For more information about the Coalition, including a list of companies and organizations that support federal legislation, please visit www.marketplacefairnessnow.org.
Follow the Coalition on Twitter: @MFCoalition.
About the Marketplace Fairness Coalition
The Marketplace Fairness Coalition supports federal legislation that empowers states to update their sales and use tax laws to level the playing field for all sellers. The Coalition is comprised of businesses of every size, sector and channel of product distribution, located in every state throughout the country. The time has come for Congress to give businesses clarity and certainty by allowing states to update their laws to reflect a 21st Century economy.
NSGA Urging Congress to Demand a Level Playing Field
For over a year, the U.S. Congress has had bills in committee waiting for action that would aid NSGA member brick and mortar retailers by creating a level playing field with their online-only competitors. Last month, on behalf of its members, NSGA sent letters to Congressmen and Senators on those committees pushing them to take action on the bills.
The two bills in question, the Marketplace Equity Act (H.R. 3179) in the House, and the Marketplace Fairness Act (S. 1832) in the Senate, each would require internet-only retailers to collect state sales tax on purchases made on their sites, whether the company has a nexus in a state or not.
The inequity that has been in place is based upon a 1992 Supreme Court decision, Quill vs. North Dakota, which stated that requiring remote vendors to collect sales tax would unconstitutionally burden interstate commerce. At the same time, the ruling stated that the problem was one that “Congress may be better qualified to resolve, and one that it has the ultimate power to resolve.” Thus, these bills being introduced.
NSGA’s reasons for pushing Congress to take action include:
These bills level the playing field between internet-only retailers and our bricks and mortar retailers when it comes to price.
These bills would allow states to more easily collect the taxes that are already owed on purchases made online, bringing in the revenue that should be collected already to aid the states’ bottom lines.
By not taking action, Congress is picking winners and losers in the competitive retail landscape.
The association will continue to push lawmakers to enact these bills, which would create a level playing field for all retailers, no matter how or where they sell their merchandise. NSGA knows its members are not afraid of competition, but competition must be fair for all to compete. The association will ask its members to participate in this effort following the election season by communicating with your local Congressmen and Senators about how this is affecting your business.
NSGA Contact Larry Weindruch, Team Dealer Division Director, (847) 296-6742, ext. 1290, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Football Glove Issue
NSGA Pleased with NFHS Decision to Delay Implementation of Football Glove Rule
The National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) is pleased to announce that the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Rules Review Committee has upheld an appeal initiated by NSGA that will delay implementation of what is known as the Football Glove Rule until the 2013-14 school year.
The rule, which was passed by the NFHS Football Rules Committee in January 2010, would have taken effect next season (2012-13 school year). The rule would require all football gloves worn in varsity games to bear the certification seal of the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE). Gloves bearing that seal and gloves that meet the previous standard are materially the same – both for performance and safety properties.
The NOCSAE standard specification establishes performance requirements for the friction and adhesion properties of new football players’ gloves. The standard test method and performance specification are specifically created to limit the level of tackiness of gloves to limit the potential aid they may have in handling or catching the ball. When the rule goes into effect for the 2013 fall football season, the NOSCAE seal must be visible on the outside of the glove.
According to NSGA President & CEO Matt Carlson, “We understand this was a complex issue, and we appreciate NFHS’ Rules Review Committee for looking at the big picture when deciding to delay the implementation of rule until the 2013-14 school year. By taking the interests of sporting goods retailers and team dealers into consideration in this process, the committee helped avert what was sure to become a major economic hardship for our members.”
The process to delay the rule’s implementation date included advocacy from both NSGA and the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA), and NSGA appreciates SGMA’s involvement in this issue.
“The delay in implementation of the rule will provide an opportunity for NSGA member retailers and team dealers to significantly reduce their inventories of these football gloves, which will also benefit the manufacturers,” said NSGA Chairman of the Board Jeff Rosenthal, President & CEO of Hibbett Sports. “It also benefits the players and their parents who purchase these gloves by eliminating any confusion as to what is and is not legal next season.”