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Letter: Small retailers should embrace Internet

Published December 21, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

As the executive director of WE R HERE, a coalition of small Web-enabled retailers, I am disappointed with the misstatements of fact that were the basis of a recent guest column supporting the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA).

Contrary to Dave Davis's claim, small online retailers are already providing jobs in Utah, paying local taxes and providing competition to the mega-retailers like Walmart and Amazon ("Retailers need level playing field of Internet sales tax," Opinion, Dec. 14). The last thing we should do is saddle them with a law like the MFA that would tilt the playing field to favor big companies by requiring tiny companies to face regulatory and audit risk from almost 10,000 different taxing jurisdictions in America.

In addition, and again despite Davis's claim, Rep. Bob Goodlatte's principles — part of a reasonable and deliberative approach — demonstrate the flaws of the Senate-passed MFA, while supporting competition between businesses and between states.

The real threat to small, brick-and-mortar stores isn't, as Davis would have you believe, small Web retailers, but instead continues to be the Walmarts and Amazons of the world. Small brick-and-mortar companies should embrace the Internet as consumers have rather than trying to resist it through protectionist legislation like the MFA.

Phil Bond

Alexandria, Va.