eBay staff and the New York seller attendees
Last week, eBay’s Government Relations Team, along with five eBay-enabled small business owners, descended upon the New York State Capitol in Albany to advocate in opposition to a marketplace Internet sales tax proposal in Governor Cuomo’s budget.
eBay Inc., these New York-based sellers, and a large coalition of Internet-enabled companies oppose the provision as it would require NY-based marketplaces to collect and remit sales tax on behalf of its sellers regardless of the sellers’ physical presence. The precedent that could be set with this New York law has serious negative implications, not only for New York-based sellers, but for any sellers with New York-based buyers. This was the message eBay’s small business ambassadors conveyed during their meetings in Albany.
This law is currently unprecedented. We believe that marketplaces should be encouraged, not hindered. Looking at eBay’s New York marketplace sellers that do $10 thousand or more in sales every year, 98% export their goods across the world as compared to only 1.5% of traditional New York businesses. Due to their presence in the state, these New York businesses already collect and remit the required sales tax. However, this provision is threatening the marketplace providers that allow New York businesses to grow their companies on a global scale.
The New York State Assembly, Senate and the Governor’s Office are entering into negotiations to produce a final budget by April 1st. eBay will continue to advocate against this proposal and any proposals that create barriers to online commerce.
In addition to Government Relations on-the-ground efforts and these sellers who took the time out of their busy schedules to visit Albany, New York state eBay customers also generated more than 115,000 letters to their state legislators in opposition to this harmful proposal. Due in no small part to these efforts, this provision was struck from the Governor’s budget for this year. This is a victory for online marketplace users throughout the state and we would like to thank all NY eBay sellers who joined the effort and made a difference.