Knoxville businessman Scott Schimmel has joined small business owners from the country on the National Small Business Advisory Board for the Alliance for Main Street Fairness.
The alliance is an advocacy group lobbying for passage of a federal law closing the loophole that allows online-only retailers avoid collecting sales tax.
The Marketplace Fairness Act has passed the Senate and now awaits action by the House. Passage by the Republican-dominated House is not guaranteed, but the bill does have some measure of bipartisan support.
Tennessee Republican Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker both support the bill. As does Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, who sees the bill as a way to increase tax revenue without adopting new taxes.
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The Tennessee campaign to end the unfair tax advantage online only retailers have over bricks and mortar stores is flexing its muscle.
On Thursday, the merchants group Alliance for Main Street Fairness held a coordinated media event in six cities – Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, Oak Ridge and Johnson City – to discuss strategy and show off its political support.
The event featured telephone calls from Gov. Bill Haslam and Sen. Lamar Alexander. Haslam supports a national solution to the sales tax question and Alexander is co-sponsor of a Senate bill that would end online retailers unfair advantage.