Sponsored Link
Email This Post Email This Post

Why Speaker of the House Paul Ryan Controls eBay’s Fate

Thanks to a new Speaker being named to the House of Representatives, eBay warned its sellers again about the online sales tax bill called the Remote Transactions Parity Act (RTPA), and urged them to contact their legislators to tell them not to pass it.

In a post on Tuesday, it briefed members of its eBay Main Street grassroots program on recent political developments and how it could affect them.

Paul Ryan (R-WI/1) is taking over as Speaker – this is a significant development in the sales tax fight, eBay said, since the Speaker has the ability to control what legislation is considered on the floor. But while Ryan has shown support for online sales tax legislation in principle, it’s uncertain how Ryan will handle the two pieces of proposed legislation.

eBay has been lobbying against the passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) for a number of years over the exemption threshold, but it warned that the RTPA is much worse. “As you may know, the RTPA – introduced by Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT/3) – is actually far worse for small online retailers than the MFA. Like the MFA, the RTPA has a very small exemption for sellers with gross sales under $1MM. However, any business that uses an electronic marketplace (like eBay) is automatically disqualified from this already tiny exemption.”

As we noted in our coverage in June, retail groups including the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) support the bill. RILA said the legislation would “end special treatment for online-only retailers and give states the authority to require all retailers that sell products in their state to collect the same sales tax.”

And in our follow-up piece last month, we noted that eBay sees the issue as a big-box vs small retailer issue. Referencing what it called the RTPA’s online marketplace discrimination clause, eBay said, “Any seller, regardless of the size of their business, who uses an online marketplace platform will be forced to collect and remit tax to every jurisdiction to which they sell products.”

eBay’s latest post on the issue can be found on its eBay Main Street website.

Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.