Local Businesses Speak Out About Marketplace Fairness Act


By Aimee Burnett

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) A bill placing a sales tax on online sales is headed to the House of Representatives Tuesday for a vote.

The Marketplace Fairness Act passing the Senate Monday.

$46.4 million in uncollected sales taxes...

That's how much money the gem state missed out on in 2012.

For small businesses that rely heavily on online sales, the additional tax will have a huge impact on business.

"Just this last year, of course with the surge in gun sales, we did about $5 million in sales and about 70% of that is online," said Ryan Horsley, Owner, Red’s Trading Post, Twin Falls.

Horsley opposes the online sales tax stating it would be a huge burden on his business.

"This is forcing us to deal with not only the IRS, who we already have to deal with, the state of Idaho, who we already have to deal with, but we're going to be audited by forty plus other states," said Horsley.

Before Red's opened its online store it had two full–time employees and one part–time employee.

Now, it has twelve full–time employees.

"Our business has continued to grow and continued to increase and that's because of our online business," said Horsley.

While Horsley believes the Marketplace Fairness Act is anything, but fair, local business owner Jim Vickers disagrees.

"We've lost, in my opinion, a tremendous amount of revenue to internet sales the last few years and I think it's important to even the playing field for the mom and pop stores," said Vickers, Vickers Western Store, Twin Falls.

The internet is one of Vickers' biggest competitors.

"There's not a week goes by that someone doesn't pack a saddle in here that they bought on the internet that's made in India or Pakistan, won't fit a horse, none of the parts are long enough," said Vickers.

If it becomes law, states will have to meet some requirements before they can require companies to pay state sales tax.

The earliest it would go into effect is October 1st.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

KMVT Breaking News Alerts

Morning & Afternoon News Updates