On Capitol Hill
NSSEA Co-signs Letter on the Affordable Care Act
On July 9 the Obama Administration issued guidance indicating that it was delaying for one year the imposition of penalties imposed on employers pursuant to the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions (a/k/a the employer mandate) enacted in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Next week, the U.S. House of Representatives will consider legislation to codify this action. NSSEA has joined the National Association of Wholesaler Distributors (NAW) in supporting both the Administration's decision and legislative initiative to codify the one-year delay. The statute imposes the mandate on January 1, 2014 and a proposed rule for its implementation was issued on January 2, 2013. NSSEA is working with allies in the employer community in Washington, DC to secure passage of this legislation and will sign a joint employer community letter now being prepared under the leadership of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in support of the bill.
NSSEA Supports S. 336, the Marketplace Fairness Act and H.R. 903, the American Job Protection Act
Marketplace Fairness Act
The Marketplace Fairness Act would give states who have simplified their sales tax laws the authority to collect sales tax from online and catalog retailers at the time of sale, just as traditional 'brick and mortar' stores already do. The bill was introduced by a strong bipartisan group of Senators, led by Senators Enzi, Alexander, Heitkamp and Durbin -- to address the inequality in today's marketplace.
At issue is a decades-old Supreme Court ruling, issued in 1992 before the pervasiveness of Internet commerce, which prohibits states from requiring remote sellers to collect sales and use taxes owed on purchases from out-of-state vendors. This has created an unfair price disadvantage for brick-and-mortar businesses, has led to budget shortfalls for states as sales and use taxes go uncollected, and has placed an undue burden on consumers who do not realize they owe the sales/use tax if it is not collected by the seller, leaving them to face penalties and increased scrutiny from state auditors.
NSSEA has joined hundreds of other businesses and organizations in supporting the Marketplace Fairness Act that would give states the authority to manage their sales tax laws while addressing this issue. S. 336 represents the best thinking of all the stakeholders and provides a pathway forward for states to collect sales and use taxes, simplify their tax statutes, and assist vendors with compliance, while providing for a robust $1 million small business exemption. Read the letter.
Relief from the Affordable Healthcare Act
NSSEA has joined the Small Business Coalition for Affordable Healthcare in supporting S. 399, the American Job Protection Act. This legislation introduced by Senators Hatch and Alexander and Representatives Boustany and Barrow would repeal the employer mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that has already led to reduced hours and stifled job growth. In the law, the employer mandate penalizes businesses with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees if they do not offer health insurance to full-time employees, or if certain full-time employees receive a tax credit to purchase insurance through the exchange.
The requirements to determine employer size and workforce classification this year are already discouraging companies from hiring employees and investing in their businesses. This mandate also establishes a powerful disincentive to hire more than 50 employees. Thus, it punishes both the employer and employees alike. While the employer will struggle with the costs of the penalty, the employees will suffer lower wages and possibly job loss.
The American Job Protection Act will provide employers desperately needed certainty by repealing the employer mandate. The penalties, although not effective until 2014, are already stifling job creation and economic growth and are counter-productive to the goal of expanding access to affordable healthcare for small businesses. Read the House and Senate letters.
- Protecting the Teacher Tax Deduction for teacher purchases of classroom materials.
- Leveling the playing field for retail stores to compete with Internet-only mass marketers. (See below.)
- Eliminating potential barriers to teacher choice in supplemental products or other negative consequences in the language used in the reauthorization of ESEA.
NSSEA is interested in influencing pro-small business and pro-education legislation/regulatory policy that does the following:
- Encourages innovation and teacher choice in educational materials;
- Increases funding for educational products;
- Reduces interference with our members' ability to provide their products;
- Discourages threats to the dealer channel;
- Has overall positive commercial impact on our members.