Washington Report

Advocacy Updates from Washington D.C.

Coalition Letter Supporting Wayfair Decision

NAR, in coalition with other real estate industry groups, joined a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives Leadership opposing legislative efforts to undermine the Supreme Court's ruling in South Dakota v. Wayfair, the case decided in June 2018 which gives states the authority to require online sellers to collect and remit sales tax.  Prior to the Wayfair ruling, the states have been waiting for Congress to pass legislation allowing this, as e-commerce has grown and sales tax collection declined.  Brick-and-mortar retailers - commercial real estate clients - have been especially impacted by this, as they are perceived to have higher prices due to charging sales tax on them at the point of sale.  Despite many attempts though, Congress failed to enact legislation resolving this issue.  

NAR supports a level playing field for online retailers and brick-and-mortar stores, and joined two amicus briefs to the Supreme Court in favor of giving states the authority to require collection of sales tax - the position that ultimately prevailed.  Post-Wayfair, the states have acted in an orderly manner - many are working on legislative options that will make collection of sales tax from their residents go smoothly for online retailers, and most are waiting until January 1, 2019 to begin enforcement to avoid confusion.  However, some members of Congress who oppose the Wayfair decision have introduced or are considering legislation that would effectively neutralize Wayfair, halting progress on this issue and continuing to place brick-and-mortar retailers at a disadvantage.  Thus, the coalition letter points out the orderliness of the implementation thus far, and urges Congress not to enact legislation that would impede progress.

Read the coalition letter