Though the agreement will pertain only to purchases on Amazon-owned sites, there is a hope that Congress will take notice and other online retailers may help exert pressure to get a federal legislative compromise passed.
“I think the hope is this would create some momentum. There’s a precedent now in Massachusetts. Maybe we can convince some other retailers to voluntarily agree, but at the end of the day what we’re pushing for and hoping for is a federal solution to this that levels the playing field for everybody,” Gonzalez said.
The Massachusetts Main Street Fairness Coalition, made up of retailers, local officials and labor unions, said it was “grateful” that its members would not have to go through another holiday sales season competing with Amazon and the built-in disparity in pricing due to the 6.25 percent sales tax.
“Although we would have preferred a level playing field this holiday season, we are grateful to Gov. Patrick for his tireless work on this issue. Unfair sales tax application is an antiquated policy that favors out-of-state businesses over local employers and it has to end. The announcement today is an important and significant step toward realizing that ultimate goal,” Jon Hurst, president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, said.
Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, the co-chairwoman of the coalition, said Massachusetts was helping to lead the way toward a Congressional solution.
“Once again, Massachusetts is taking action on an important issue ahead of our leaders in Washington,” Driscoll said in a statement. “In the age of the smartphone, sales taxes should be applied the same for purchases whether made on Main Street or online. We are grateful to Gov. Patrick for his leadership in leveling the playing field between our Main Street businesses and Amazon.”