WASHINGTON — Congress entered the protracted fray overimposing taxes on e-tailing once again on Friday and this time a mainopponent — Amazon.com — appears to be on its side. Sen. DickDurbin (D., Ill.) introduced long-anticipated legislation Friday thatwould authorize 24 states to require all Internet retailers to collecttax on online sales. The debate over taxing Web sales has takenplace in Washington for more than a decade without any resolution, butbrick-and-mortar retailers are hoping this is the year Congress willact. In a stunning twist, Amazon.com, which has battled statesagainst a sales tax requirement and threatened to sever businesspartnerships, said in a letter to Durbin that it supports hislegislation and has always supported a “simple, nationwide system ofstate and local sales tax collection, evenhandedly applied to allsellers, no matter their business model, location or level of remotesales.” Paul Misener, Amazon’s vice president of global publicpolicy, in the letter, a copy of which was provided by Durbin’s office,said, “Introduction of your bill returns the discussion of interstatecollection of sale tax to Congress, which the Supreme Court says is theappropriate forum to resolve the issue.” Sears Holdings Corp.also supports Durbin’s bill. A movement by several states inrecent months backing legislation requiring online sellers to collectsales taxes could also provide the impetus needed on Capitol Hill. Mostrecently, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation in late Junethat requires out-of-state Internet companies to collect sales taxes andremit them to the state. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 1992case, Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, that retailers are required tocollect sales tax from out-of-state customers only if they have a“physical presence” in the customer’s state. Durbin’s bill,dubbed the Main Street Fairness Act, would authorize states that haveadopted the Streamlined Sales & Use Tax Agreement of 1999 —developed to simplify sales tax laws in response to the Supreme Courtdecision — to require out-of-state sellers to collect sales taxregardless of whether they have a physical presence or not. The billwould cover Internet-only sellers as well as “remote sellers,” such ascatalogue companies. Durbin’s office said 24 states have changedtheir laws to comply with the Streamlined Sales & Use TaxAgreement, but the Quill decision directed Congress to sanction theagreement. Traditional retailers are backing federal legislationand a national standard requiring e-tailers to collect sales taxes,arguing they are put at a competitive disadvantage alongside smallretailers when consumers choose Internet-only Web sites over storesbecause of the added cost of sales tax. “We believe there shouldbe a level playing field where all retailers follow the same rulesregardless of whether they sell their merchandise in a brick-and-mortarstore, through the mail or online,” said David French, senior vicepresident of government relations at the National Retail Federation.“This bill would end a situation where Internet sellers have had anunfair price advantage over local stores for far too long. Tax policyshould be channel neutral and not favor one segment of an industry overanother.” Durbin’s bill exempts small businesses, as defined bythe governing board of the Streamlined Sales & Use Tax Agreement,and compensates retailers for any startup administrative costsassociated with collecting sales taxes.
To celebrate Pride 2018, @themarcjacobs released the #GratefulNotHateful campaign, a social media initiative aimed at extending Pride beyond the parade. Inspired by Jacobs’ everyday outlook, the campaign features Jacobs along with a group of models and social media stars who are members and supporters of the LGBT community, all seen wearing @marcbeauty’s Highliner Gel Eye Crayons in colors of the rainbow. Head to our Instagram stories to see close-ups of the liner. #wwdbeauty
Virgil Abloh’s dad Nee and Don Crawley, cofounder of RSVP Gallery, were some of the hometown crew at the Chicago-born designer’s debut show for Louis Vuitton. (📸: @jdiderich ) #wwdmens #louisvuitton #virgilabloh
About last night: @marycharteris and @adwoaaboah hit up Hyde Park for the Serpentine Galleries’ annual summer party held in partnership with @chanelofficial. Head to WWD.com to see more photos. #wwdfashion
“This is Paris, my first show. I’m all about democracy. If some kid shows up, flew from New Jersey to just be around, let’s get him a seat.” — @virgilabloh tells WWD’s @jdiderich ahead of his first show for @louisvuitton men’s. (📸: @alfredo_piola ) #wwdmens #virgilabloh #louisvuitton
“Kate Spade was a true fashion icon who brought joy to the lives of women around the world, and inspired women to live life to the fullest. We are dedicated to carrying on her legacy,” said Anna Bakst, brand president and chief executive officer of @katespadeny. The Kate Spade Foundation announced that it will be donating $1 million to suicide prevention and mental health awareness in tribute to the recent death of Kate Spade. Read more on WWD.com. #wwdnews (📷: @chinseephoto)
A first look at @virgilabloh’s sneakers for @louisvuitton. Abloh spoke to WWD about his debut collection for Louis Vuitton, creating @kendalljenner’s #metgala outfit and redefining the heritage brand. Read the full story on WWD.com. #wwdfashion 📷: @alfredo_piola)
The world’s largest producer of denim @iskodenim is sharing the strategy behind its product development process. Read our full interview with ISKO’s product development manager Baris Ozden on the company’s extensive research practices, upcoming denim trends and the latest material innovations on WWD.com. #iskodenim