The National Bike Dealers Association urged its members to lobby on behalf of federal Internet sales tax legislation, but diverged from other retail trade groups is saying such legislation should not exempt small businesses.

“The NBDA does not support exemptions for anyone because fair play should include every retailer, regardless of size, but if it takes an exemption to pass a law, we support as low a limit as possible,” reads a statement posted by the NBDA board on its web site. “This is a key point to watch closely. Connecticut’s exemption is just $2,000 while some would exempt retailers with sales up to $1 million, a pretty big retailer in our view.”

The trade association did not back any of the four bills now circulation in Congress, but said IDBs should lobby their delegations in support of federal legislation that would authorize states to require,, and other Internet retailers to collect sales and use taxes on remote sales.
“We urge every bicycle dealer and NBDA member to contact their elected officials by phone and e-mail urging their support for legislation to address this important issue,” reads a letter posted at the trade association’s web site by its board of directors. “If you are tired of seeing Internet sellers taking sales from you because they are not collecting sales tax, now is the time to act. The NBDA believes an immediate federal solution is needed to close this loophole in the law.”

Below are excerpts from that statement:

“The NBDA board of directors is not pro-tax and the political views represented are diverse. This is an issue of fairness, with government tax policy ripping huge holes in the ability of our members to compete at a time when local jobs and positive economic impact are so desperately needed.

A number of bicycle dealers have been active on this issue, including Mike Jacoubowsky of Chain Reaction Bicycles. The NBDA will be represented in an upcoming advocacy day in partnership with the Advocates for Independent Retail, a loosely-organized group of trade associations representing brick-and-mortar retailers in many industries.

This is an issue that harms local retailers everywhere, and the focus is on presenting a united voice for small business to Congress. Key targets for this advocacy day will be members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction that has representatives from both houses of Congress from both parties to address deficit reduction. If this committee’s recommendations include reduction of federal support to the states, a likely development, the time may be right to include sales tax fairness to help the states recover some of the loss of revenue.

Many bicycle dealers have developed relationships with elected officials from your ongoing bicycle advocacy efforts. Now is a great time to take advantage of those relationships to address something that is vital to your future as a bicycle dealer. If you don’t know who your elected representatives are, here’s a resource for the House of Representatives to find out and send them your comments:

Here’s a similar resource for the U.S. Senate:

Please feel free to borrow any of the language in this message or the statement below from the NBDA’s Statement of Values. Your message doesn’t have to be long, but it should describe how this situation is damaging to you as a small business, and how this negatively impacts the local economy and jobs in your market.”