Catalog Voice Missing at House Post-Wayfair Hearing; Time to Take Matters Into Our Own Hands


Dear Industry Member:

Today, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing to consider a post-Quill world in which remote sellers are to collect sales taxes on all transactions. ACMA offered five very qualified witnesses; our TruST coalition friends offered more – none were selected. Our side of the story never got told. Quite the reverse.

Retailers told Congress this is not a big deal. In his testimony witness Lary Sinewitz a VP with Brandsmart testifying on behalf of the National Retail Federation, said compliance is simply, easy and not expensive. The southeastern electronics retailer expects to spend only $35,000 for all IT work and ongoing cost will be less than 1/10% of the remote sales volume.

Is This Your Reality?
If Sinewitz’s experience is not your reality then now is the time for Congress to hear from you. Unless remote merchants impress their officials this is an urgent matter requiring attention, states will be free to do as they wish unchecked including retroactive liability and ridiculously short advance notice.

The bottom line is, unless we make a lot of noise to Congress, nothing is going to happen at the federal level. States will be free to define their own rules and path. If you do not like it, your sole remedy is to sue them in a foreign court. Repeat: nothing to clarify this madness will be forthcoming without SIGNIFICANT outreach from companies all across the land.

Rally the Troops or Face Extinction
Consider this: This message will reach about 500 companies, including the 150 ACMA member companies. We estimate there are upwards of 9,000 catalog companies across America, and about as many e-com companies, plus hundreds of supplier companies. There are 535 Members of Congress. They need to hear from their constituents back home that this is a huge issue. Without a massive outreach by catalog or e-com companies and their suppliers, the chances for clarifying legislation are nearly nil.

As you’ve probably already witnessed first-hand, since the Wayfair ruling last month, some states are already seeking to apply tax liabilities retroactively or serving up notice with as little as two days advance warning that companies must comply effective immediately.

Email us at; we are happy to help guide you. We’ll even help edit your communications and show you how to get your message to your elected politicos. We also have talking points, copies of testimonies and other things that will make it easy for you – the offer applies to non-ACMA members too. Please copy on any emails you send to your elected officials.

Our Asks
Beyond taking action with your officials, ask other company executives if they have done likewise. Pass this note on to other remote selling companies you are in contact with. Discuss the issue with your suppliers and ask them if they can help spread the word to companies we are not reaching directly. Keep ACMA staff informed of your actions, progress and anything you learn.

There’s no time to lose. The ACMA can take a leadership role, but we need your action. The choice is yours. Unless remote sellers reach out to Congress aggressively, nothing will happen. We get what we get. Don’t let the new reality unfold without your weighing in. Congress must establish some ground rules that apply across the land or interstate commerce will be a greater challenge. Thank you.


Hamilton Davison
President & Executive Director
American Catalog Mailers Association


© 2018 American Catalog Mailers Association, Inc.
Please share this with any catalog and e-commerce merchants and suppliers you know.

Share this