Dear SENATOR and REPRESENTATIVE,
As your constituent, I write to request that you reject a provision in the House tax bill (Sec. VI of HB 2186) that would stifle small business growth and hurt consumers. This will shift regulatory and sales tax compliance burdens to out-of-state sellers and online marketplaces, increasing costs to users like myself and undermining the very business model that allows these platforms to provide low-cost services and opportunities to Washingtonians. Under this proposal, the only alternative businesses have to avoid these tax burdens is to threaten the privacy of Washington consumers by disclosing their location and purchasing information to the Washington Department of Revenue.
The unintended consequences of this legislation will be significant. It will increase costs to consumers, penalize domestic companies over foreign companies that do not have to comply, jeopardize consumer privacy, and likely encourage a patchwork of state laws causing unwieldy and cumbersome audit and compliance burdens for marketplaces and the small businesses that operate on and off their platforms.
Additionally, since any legislation will most likely be litigated, I have strong concerns Washington taxpayers will be straddled with the cost of an expensive lawsuit while creating uncertainty for businesses that create jobs for many Washingtonians.
Simply put, this proposal adds new taxes to transactions that often involve the very smallest businesses possible, including artisans, rural Mom and Pop retailers, and consumers using the Internet to resell goods to promote a Green Economy. Penalizing these positive Internet commerce applications, which are strongly enabled by online marketplaces, is bad for our economy and bad for Washingtonians who support economic opportunities for everyone.
I respectfully urge you to reject Sec. VI of HB 2186, and work with Washington businesses to advocate for Internet and tax policies that support all small businesses, artisans and entrepreneurs.
Thank you for your support of Washington consumers and businesses.