Durbin: Marketplace Fairness Act Will Help Local Governments Avoid Hikes, Painful Cuts

Senator applauds Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle support for legislation that will help local governments and Main Street's small businesses

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Two days after the National Association of Counties (NACo), the only national organization representing county government, officially endorsed the Marketplace Fairness Act, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today discussed several benefits that the bipartisan federal legislation would provide for state and local governments in a speech at NACo's 2012 Legislative Conference. The legislation, introduced by Senators Durbin, Mike Enzi (R-WY), Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and a bipartisan group of 7 other Senators late last year, would level the playing field for local businesses and give states the option to collect sales tax already owed under current law from out-of-state businesses, helping to bring down ballooning deficits across the nation.

“Small businesses in Illinois and across the country don’t want special treatment,” said Durbin. “They don’t want a handout—all they want is a level playing field. The Marketplace Fairness Act gives them that while helping states avoid raising taxes or making painful cuts that will slow our economic recovery.”

“This is a matter of basic economic fairness, and for some small businesses it’s a matter of economic survival. Small businesses on Main Street invest in our communities, they create jobs for local workers; they are our neighbors and they deserve a fair shake.  But local businesses will never be able to compete if we continue this unfair advantage for huge online retailers.”

In his remarks, Durbin also thanked Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle for presenting the Marketplace Fairness Act endorsement resolution, which was adopted, to NACo’s board of directors over the weekend.  A photo of Durbin speaking at the NACO Legislative Conference is available here.


The Marketplace Fairness Act is similar to legislation Durbin introduced in August known as the Main Street Fairness Act.  This bipartisan legislation comes from months of negotiations between Democrats and Republicans over how best to close a current tax loophole that requires brick-and-mortar retailers to collect sales taxes from customers who make purchases in their stores, while allowing many online and catalog retailers to avoid collecting the same taxes. Under the Marketplace Fairness Act, states would have the option to collect sales and use tax revenues from out-of-state sellers through a new, simplified tax system. The legislation would not require a single penny in additional taxes to be paid that are not already owed. 

NACo’s Legislative Conference is held on an annual basis in Washington, D.C., and brings over 2,000 elected and appointed county officials from across the country to focus on legislative issues facing county government.