Marketplace fairness

Learn more about the Marketplace Fairness Act passing the United States Senate and see the vote record


In 2013, NSGA joined several businesses and trade associations to become a part of the Marketplace Fairness Coalition. The mission of the coalition is to pass federal legislation that is intended to level the playing field between brick-and-mortar retailers with online retailers. The legislation, known as the Marketplace Fairness Act, will permit states to require remote sellers to collect sales tax. The Act has already passed in the Senate and NSGA is currently working to encourage passage in the House.

Why is this relevant to our members?

NSGA is made up of retailers and team dealers from some of the largest sporting goods stores in the nation to the smallest, brick-and-mortar specialty stores. NSGA believes that each store, no matter its size, deserves to have an equal opportunity to compete with online retailers. Currently, however, there is unequal competition between the internet and local stores. Internet only sellers do not have to collect sales tax in states where they don’t have a presence, which builds in an unfair price advantage.

We have joined the Marketplace Fairness Coalition to advocate that remote sellers be required to collect sales tax at the time of purchase. A customer may find the same item online and choose to purchase it there to avoid a sales tax, and this hurts local, brick-and-mortar shops and local economies by depriving cities and towns of resources that support necessary services like fire and police protection, parks and schools.

What’s new?

NSGA Applauds Senate for Pledging To Move Marketplace Fairness Act Forward
February 10, 2016 - 

The National Sporting Goods Association is pleased with the announcement by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) Tuesday that he will bring the Marketplace Fairness Act, which passed in the previous Congress with overwhelming bi-partisan support, to a vote again this year.

According to a Bloomberg article, the Senate will take up a stand-alone bill dealing with Internet sales taxes later this year as part of a deal that will allow the chamber to pass a trade enforcement bill this week, McConnell said Tuesday. Read the full release here.

Remote Transactions Parity Act Introduced in House - View this news

On March 10, 2015, a bi-partisan group of U.S. Senators re-introduced the Marketplace Fairness Act, the same legislation that in 2013 passed by a wide, bipartisan vote of 69-27. The U.S. House of Representatives is working on a draft of a bill called the Online Sales Simplification Act (OSSA), which has yet to be introduced.

The Senate bill would allow local Main Street retailers to compete on a level playing field against out-of-state Internet sellers, give states the ability to enforce their own sales and use tax laws and relieve consumers of the legal burden to report to state tax departments the sales taxes they owe on online purchases. This bill does not create new taxes or increase existing taxes. 

The bill provides states the authority to enforce existing sales and use tax laws, if they choose to do so, by adopting one of the following options: 

  • Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA): Allows any state that is a member of SSUTA to require remote sellers to collect state and local sales and use taxes; or
  • Alternative Minimum Simplification Requirements: States that are not SSUTA members may require remote retailers to collect state and local sales and use taxes if they adopt minimum simplification requirements as outlined in the bill.

The bill is supported by NSGA and more than 280 business, labor, and state and local government organizations including the National Governors’ Association, National Conference of State Legislatures, National Association of Counties, U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities, Retail Industry Leaders Association, National Retail Federation, International Council of Shopping Centers, National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors,, AFSCME, and the American Farm Bureau Federation.

What you can do

Contact your U.S. Senator or Representative and urge him or her to sign on as a sponsor of e-fairness legislation and to urge leadership in both houses to bring this important bill to a vote.

Click here to send the message to Congress that you demand e-fairness.