The Virginia Retail Federation (VRF) has successfully helped further level the playing field in Virginia between brick-and-mortar merchants and their online peers.

During the 2017 Virginia General Assembly session, VRF advocates and their coalition business partners fully supported Governor Terry McAuliffe’s legislative proposal to require out-of-state online merchants using warehouses or fulfillment centers in Virginia to register as dealers for the collection of sales taxes on their sales into Virginia. The bi-partisan legislation was carried by Republican Senator Emmett Hanger and Democratic Delegate Vivian Watts. The legislation, signed into law by the governor, will go into effect July 1, 2017, and generate new state and local revenue of $21 million.

“The sales tax nexus legislation was one of our top priorities during the 2017 session,” said Ray Mattes, III, Co- President VRF. “While online sales skyrocketed during the last holiday season, brick-and-mortar stores continued to close. It is only fair that global online businesses collect the same taxes that neighborhood stores have been paying for decades.”

“We have an expert government affairs team in Kate Baker and Jodi Roth who have worked diligently behind this legislation to continue leveling the playing field,” commented Nancy Thomas, Co- President. “The VRF has been a tireless champion in the fight for e-fairness at the state level and helping expand online tax collection was a big win for our members, large and small.”

In addition, the VRF successfully supported legislation to extend the “sunset” or expiration date for the state’s popular Sales Tax Holiday. The Sales Tax Holiday was initiated and passed by the VRF in 2006. The holiday was set to expire July 1, 2017. Legislation carried by Senator George Barker and Delegate Jeion Ward extended the expiration date to July 1, 2022.

During the 2017 session, the VRF team also advocated in several additional retail legislative arenas including the accelerated sales tax, ABC issues, background checks, minimum wage, and the felony threshold.

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About Virginia Retail Federation

The VRF seeks to proactively represent and support the legislative interests of Virginia retailers on the local, State, and Federal levels. VRF helps ensure the success of Virginia retailers by working diligently for our members. We protect members’ legislative interests, ensuring their voice is heard in the legislative process, and informing them on issues impacting their business.