At the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) Spring Meeting earlier this year, Benn Gann, director of legislative affairs for the WDMA, said, “Local retailers must collect sales tax at the time of purchase while out-of-state online retailers do not” which “distorts the marketplace and local companies are at a competitive disadvantage … The amount of online transactions keeps going up … This is costing states and localities billion in revenues. There is a need for a legislative solution … state governments are losing $23 billion annually.”
Innocent Sellers Fairness Act: This bill, which is considered dead but has been introduced multiple times to Congress, would aim to “prevent undue disruption of interstate commerce by limiting civil actions brought against persons whose only role with regard to a product in the stream of commerce is as a lawful seller of the product.” The bill would help to protect dealers from liability suits when selling unchanged products legally.
“Unfounded and unfair lawsuits are increasingly having a negative effect on the ability of building material dealers to run their businesses and contribute to their communities. More than one in four National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) member companies has been named in a product liability lawsuit; 65 percent of those have been involved in more than one,” reads an NLBMDA statement.
Urban Enterprise Zone Program, New Jersey: At the state level, the Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) program, which is in effect in New Jersey, attempts to “foster an economic climate that revitalizes designated urban communities and stimulates their growth by encouraging businesses to develop and create private sector jobs through public and private investment,” according to the State of New Jersey Department of Community Affairs website. The program aims to achieve this revitalization by allowing certified UEZ businesses to have a reduced sales tax (3.5 percent), tax-free purchases on specific items, financial assistance, subsidized unemployment insurance, energy sales tax exemptions and tax credit options. Certified businesses must be registered in New Jersey, be located within one of 32 zones, be tax-compliant and certified by UEZ. Companies can register online.