WASHINGTON, April 4, 2018 – American Catalog Mailers Association (ACMA) contends in an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court of the U.S. today that a South Dakota law enacted two years ago is unconstitutional. Filing as a friend of the defendants in the case of South Dakota v. Wayfair, Overstock.com, and Newegg, the ACMA urged that the Quill v. North Dakota precedent be upheld.
The case before the Supreme Court poses the question, “Should this Court abrogate Quill’s sales-tax-only, physical-presence requirement?” The 1992 Quilldecision affirmed the physical presence rule. The Supreme Court ruling upheld its 1967 ruling in National Bellas Hess v. Department of Revenue of Illinois. In 2016, South Dakota enacted its law that defies the Quill physical presence standard.
“The authority of the states and their many localities to tax interstate commerce is unquestioned,” the ACMA brief says. “But the Commerce Clause prohibits actions that create excessive burdens impeding interstate commerce.” The brief goes on to say, “Overruling Quill would not only discourage efforts at uniformity, but it would also expose catalog retailers to significant past lability for transactions that already have occurred.”Further, the brief points out that changing the law with respect to sales tax collection responsibility “will add significant additional costs to be borne by sellers. Catalog sellers continue to need real simplification in the collection process and appropriate safe harbors.”
The Quill decision “protects catalog and online businesses from 46 state tax auditors and 600 home rule local jurisdictions, covering more than 12,000 jurisdictions,” says ACMA President & Executive Director Hamilton Davison. “Overturning Quill would turn a long period of growth and prosperity in the catalog and e-commerce world into one of mass confusion and retraction. That’s hardly what our forefathers had in mind when they proclaimed that taxation without representation is tyranny.”
In January the U.S. Supreme Court granted a petition for a Writ of Certiorari to the Supreme Court of South Dakota. Following the hearing, the high court is expected to render its decision by the end of the current term in June. Along with its coalition partner organization NetChoice, the ACMA will host a press conference immediately following the April 17th hearing on the Supreme Court steps.
In addition to the ACMA brief, more than a dozen other briefs have been filed. Click here to access them.