Mayor Ted Bettencourt has lent his support to a coalition of local officials and small business owners fighting to close a tax loophole that benefits giant online retailers while penalizing more traditional “mom and pop” stores.
The Main Street Fairness Coalition contends that mega e-commerce sites such as Amazon.com should be required to collect the same 6.25 percent Massachusetts sales tax that bricks-and-mortar retailers collect on purchases.
Currently, Amazon and other online behemoths are not required to collect sales tax on most online purchases, giving them a huge advantage over “Main Street” businesses, which are struggling to stay afloat in a difficult economy.
“We have to level the playing field for local businesses,” said Bettencourt. “Closing this loophole will help smaller retailers be more competitive, which will spur economic development in downtown Peabody and in cities and towns across Massachusetts.”
The Main Street Fairness Coalition is co-chaired by Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll.