NetChoice in the News

POLITICO - Morning Tax: Getting on the same page

Those opposed to giving states more power to collect from out-of-state retailers said they’re gearing up for a potential date with the U.S. Supreme Court. “We will be ready to show that the perspective of these three large online retail defendants is only a small part of the story,” said Steve DelBianco of NetChoice, referring to Newegg, Overstock and Wayfair.

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POLITICO - Former congressman lobbying for NetChoice on sex-trafficking bill

“It’s the right aim, the right idea — but in some subtle yet critical respects, the wrong approach,” Cox said of SESTA in an email. “Proper application of the existing statute will punish the guilty while protecting the innocent.”

“One of the things we’re working on is to help clarify the legislative intent and clarify what Congress was thinking when it created Section 230 to help ameliorate the confusion in the courts,” Carl Szabo, senior policy counsel at NetChoice, said in an interview.

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The Consumerist - Why You Should Care About South Dakota’s Controversial Online Sales Tax Law

Shortly after the law was passed, the state asked a judge to proactively declare that retailers must comply with the law. Coming at it from the other side, the American Catalog Mailers Association and NetChoice, an online retail trade group sued to block the law from being enforced, as did online retailers NewEgg, Overstock.com, and Wayfair.

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eCommerce Bytes - New Developments in Online Sales Tax Debate

Some like NetChoice point to the fact states have a way to collect taxes on purchases made by residents from out-of-state retailers – they require their own citizens to pay “use” tax for transactions in which out-of-state retailers don’t collect the “sales” tax. 

NetChoice is a trade association of ecommerce businesses and writes on its website, “most states have done little to educate consumers about their use tax obligation or to provide them with an easy mechanism for compliance. This suggests there may not be enough revenue involved for the states to invest time and resources in its recovery.”

NetChoice Executive Director Steve DelBianco said of today’s developments:

“This ruling gives the state what it wanted all along – a case they could appeal to the US Supreme Court. If the high court takes this case, we will be ready to show that the perspective of a few large online retail defendants is only a small part of the story. In fact, many thousands of smaller businesses would bear disproportionate burdens and costs if they are forced to become tax collectors for 12,000 jurisdictions across 46 states.”

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BNA Bloomberg - South Dakota Supreme Court Strikes Digital Sales Tax Statute

Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice, a Washington, D.C.-based internet commerce trade association, told Bloomberg BNA that if the U.S. Supreme Court takes up the case, NetChoice would be quick to back up smaller remote retailers, who DelBianco argues would be harmed the most if Quill was overturned.

“If the high court takes this case, we will be ready to show that the perspective of the three large online retail defendants is only a small part of the story, since many thousands of smaller businesses would bear disproportionate burdens and costs if they are forced to become tax collectors for 12,000 jurisdictions across 46 states,” DelBianco said.

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BNA Bloomberg - Massachusetts Sets ‘Cookie’ Tax Regulation Without Delay

A representative from Washington, D.C.-based NetChoice, which sued the DOR over Directive 17-1, attended the public hearing but didn’t comment.

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Chicago Tonight WTTW - Geolocation Privacy Protection Act Awaits Action by Rauner

But it could be bad for users’ experience, says Carl Szabo, senior policy counsel for the trade association NetChoice which advocates for fewer restrictions on online businesses.

“Having more pop-ups when you use your device or different pop-ups can create confusion,” Szabo said. “[This bill] begins messing with the notices we’ve become accustomed to using and become familiar with. It requires custom notifications for each app.”

Szabo is also concerned about the language in the bill, which says geolocation information includes the “precise” location of the device. “[HB3449] doesn’t define precise. Is it exactly where I am now? Is it the address? Is it the city block? … Without that that definition I worry there can be abuses of the gaps in the legislative language,” Szabo said. “[The bill] has undefined terms that leave businesses open to legal action.”

Opponents, like Szabo, say consumers are already protected under the federal legislation, specifically Section 5 of The Federal Trade Commission Act.

“We already have the laws on the books to address the concerns being raised by sponsors and supporters of the bill,” Szabo said. “The FTC Act is decades old, well established and enforced vigorously. … It prohibits unfair or deceptive trade practices.”

Both the federal government and states’ attorneys can enforce the act, according to Szabo. “Complaints are filed fairly often by consumer advocate groups not only with the state attorney general but with the Federal Trade Commission itself,” he said.

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BNA Bloomberg - Daimler Backs Car-Sharing Startup Under Pressure From Hertz

While Turo is tiny compared with Uber Technologies Inc. or Airbnb Inc., the resistance it’s seeing from established players is reminiscent of what the larger upstarts faced from taxi and hotel companies, said Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice, a trade group representing online businesses including Turo.

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DOJ is not wielding its power to bring down online sex trafficking

If there is one thing we can all agree on, it’s that sex trafficking is a horrendous crime, really the worst of the worst. Those who knowingly facilitate sex trafficking — whether it be online or offline — should be prosecuted and put in jail. Robbing the promise and potential of a human life is an egregious offense. One prime example is the notorious Backpage.com website, the leading U.S. website for prostitution advertising.

In August, Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) set out to thwart sex trafficking on the internet with the introduction of the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA). The bill would modify Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to make it easier to prosecute websites that contribute to sex trafficking.

On first blush this may seem like a good idea, but two issues should make us reconsider this approach..

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Business Advocate - Massachusetts: Department of Revenue proceeds with proposed nexus regulation

On the other hand, entities representing internet sellers, like Netchoice and the American Catalog Mailers Association (ACMA), oppose remote nexus laws like this one.

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Associated Press - Indiana files lawsuit to defend out-of-state sales tax law

The lawsuit is in response to another lawsuit the American Catalog Mailers Association and NetChoice filed in June challenging the state’s new sales tax law and its implementation. It aims to level the playing field between Indiana businesses and out-of-state businesses that sell products online.

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Eagle Country Online - Indiana Files Lawsuit Hoping To Reverse Supreme Court On Online Sales Taxes

It is the state’s response to a June lawsuit against the state filed by American Catalog Mailers Association and NetChoice seeking to stop implementation of HEA 1129.

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BNA Bloomberg - Wayfair, Overstock Dragged Into Indiana Online Tax Fight

Washington-based NetChoice, one of the associations bringing the Indiana lawsuit, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. The other party, the Washington-based American Catalog Mailers Association, declined to comment. The ACMA, like NetChoice, is entangled in the other pending lawsuits as well.

Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice previously told Bloomberg BNA that he was “confident that the court would grant an injunction barring enforcement of the Indiana law, just as a South Dakota court did in March by invalidating a nearly identical law there.”

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The Berkshire Eagle - Doomed plan to tax online retailers

NetChoice — a national trade association representing e-commerce sites — joined forces in a lawsuit to challenge the proposal with the American Catalog Mailers Association, a trade association representing the interests of companies, individuals and organizations engaged in and supporting catalog marketing.

NetChoice Executive Director Steve DelBianco has warned that his association will not hesitate to refile the lawsuit if the administration moves forward with a similar regulation.

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Dakota Free Press - State Supreme Court to Hear Online Sales Tax Arguments August 29

They cite an article published by sales tax collection opponent NetChoice for the proposition that the tax losses in the materials relied on by Justice Kennedy himself are overstated.

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Small Business Radio - Debating the merits of not taxing Internet sales

Debating the merits of not taxing Internet sales

Could a global congress on trust help control digital fear and greed

Why Massachusetts bailed on remote sales tax collection

Washington Post - South Dakota seeks overturn of high court sales tax decision

If the Supreme Court overturns the 1992 decision, state tax collectors would be able to reach across their borders to impose sales tax obligations on businesses who sell to residents in their states, said Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice, an e-commerce trade group.

DelBianco said that smaller retailers would be burdened the most if the decision is overturned. He said states are employing a strategy of “harassing” the retail community with a patchwork of laws and regulations including South Dakota’s “full-frontal challenge” to the high court decision.

“These multiple challenges to interstate commerce were designed to create so much chaos for the business community that it would beg Congress for relief,” he said.

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Also in:

Miami Herald

Lexington Herald Leader

Associated Press

Star Telegram - South Dakota seeks overturn of high court sales tax decision

If the Supreme Court overturns the 1992 decision, state tax collectors would be able to reach across their borders to impose sales tax obligations on businesses who sell to residents in their states, said Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice, an e-commerce trade group.

DelBianco said that smaller retailers would be burdened the most if the decision is overturned. He said states are employing a strategy of “harassing” the retail community with a patchwork of laws and regulations including South Dakota’s “full-frontal challenge” to the high court decision.

“These multiple challenges to interstate commerce were designed to create so much chaos for the business community that it would beg Congress for relief,” he said.

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Indiana Business Journal - State sues to defend new law requiring out-of-state retailers to pay sales tax

The lawsuit is a third-party complaint in response to an earlier suit filed in June by the American Catalog Mailers Association and NetChoice against the state over the new law and its implementation.

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Heartland Institute - Massachusetts Tax Agency Proposes Online Sales Tax Regulation

The policy statement, Directive 17-1, was scheduled to take effect on July 1, but NetChoice, a trade association representing online business owners, filed a lawsuit in the state’s Superior Court, asking Judge Mitchell Kaplan to block the directive’s enactment.

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