WV Sen. Rockefeller defends Marketplace Fairness Act - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

WV Sen. Rockefeller defends Marketplace Fairness Act

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Crews fight house fire in Fayette County for several hours Saturday

    Crews fight house fire in Fayette County for several hours Saturday

    Saturday, April 19 2014 11:24 PM EDT2014-04-20 03:24:33 GMT
    Crews fought a house fire in Fayette County Saturday evening for several hours. 911 Dispatchers said the call came in of a house fire on Paint Creek Road near Pax around 6:30 p.m. Pax Fire Department and Bradley-Prosperity Fire Department responded along with several other crews. We're told no one was inside the home when the fire happened.
    Crews fought a house fire in Fayette County Saturday evening for several hours. 911 Dispatchers said the call came in of a house fire on Paint Creek Road near Pax around 6:30 p.m. Pax Fire Department and Bradley-Prosperity Fire Department responded along with several other crews. We're told no one was inside the home when the fire happened.
  • Woman and husband charged for unintentional killing of son

    Woman and husband charged for unintentional killing of son

    Woman and husband charged for unintentional killing of son

    Saturday, April 19 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-04-20 02:38:36 GMT
    A Shinnston woman and her husband have been charged with what authorities are calling the unintentional suffocation of her 3-month-old son.
    A Shinnston woman and her husband have been charged with what authorities are calling the unintentional suffocation of her 3-month-old son.
  • One man shot early Saturday morning in Beckley

    One man shot early Saturday morning in Beckley

    One man shot early Saturday morning in Beckley

    Saturday, April 19 2014 9:22 PM EDT2014-04-20 01:22:04 GMT
         One man is in custody Saturday after a bar shooting in Raleigh County.
         One man is in custody Saturday after a bar shooting in Raleigh County.

In a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., reiterated the importance of passing a bipartisan bill that would protect businesses and consumers by leveling the playing filed for locals businesses as they compete against online retailers.

The Senate currently is debating the Marketplace Fairness Act, which Rockefeller cosponsored. Rockefeller is chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and he said the bill would give states the flexibility to collect already-required sales taxes on goods purchased from online retailers. Currently, consumers are left to calculate and send in the taxes they owe for online purchases, which most people don't do, because online companies are not required to charge sales tax.

But this bill would require all retailers, both brick-and-mortar and online, to charge the same sales tax. The bill exempts small businesses making less than $500,000 from state sales taxes.

According to estimates, West Virginia loses anywhere from $56 million to $103 million per year from the lack of sales tax revenue from Internet purchases. Supporters of the bill include national, state and local trade associations, including the West Virginia Retailers Association.

The West Virginia Legislature also looked at this issue. House Bill 2754, which passed the full Legislature and is now waiting action from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, requires online retailers with a physical facility in the state, whether a store or a distribution center, to charge state sales taxes. The bill unanimously passed the West Virginia Senate and passed the House of Delegates by a vote of 77-19.

The Marketplace Fairness Act would do basically the same thing in an attempt to level the playing field nationwide for brick-and-mortar businesses who compete against online retailers. It also would put the onus on the online retailer to calculate sales taxes for consumers and simplify the tax code.