The following achievements were made possible due to generous member support.
Catalog Postal Enhancements
Flats Cost Growth
- Continuing work to reduce reported flats costs and moderate catalog postage increases. Having secured the removal of the 4.5% FSS rate premium in 2017, ACMA continues to document excessive flats cost growth and question why, given all the investment, reported flats cost growth continues at over 2x the cost inputs (factor prices)
Postal Reform Legislation
- Aggressively lobbying for legislation that addresses USPS finances, cost structure, and innovation, while highlighting Congressional overcharges to postal rate payers.
- Additional lobbying to ensure catalogers receive no Congressionally-mandated postage increases.
- Challenging PRC 10-year rate-making proposal to alleviate excessive rate increases for catalog mailers.
Catalog Postage Discount
- Conceived of and won USPS buy-in for a catalog postal discount/incentive to spur additional catalog mail volume. The most recently reported costs, which have increased as much as 15% in a single year, have upended this work.
Importance of Catalogs in the Mail
- Ongoing efforts to advocate for catalogs in the mail and the special role they play in the “mail moment,” which drives interest in mail, positively impact all mail-born communications. Succeeded in getting USPS to conduct market research that documents this role. Ongoing promotion of catalog interests before USPS decision makers.
Remote Sales Tax
South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc.
- Supported Wayfair, Newegg and Overstock in SD Supreme Court and US Supreme Court; filed amicus brief. Conducted press conferences, Hill visits and op-eds. Coordinated campaign across multiple groups and companies.
- Since Wayfair, ACMA has provided industry education and clarification, led a campaign to get Congress to pass legislation on proper implementation time, prohibit retroactivity, and require fair, consistent simplifications nationwide.
- Commented on various state-proposed collection standards; challenging state DORs and legislatures when required.
- Pending in the CA Assembly is legislation to increase the sales threshold to $500,000 from $100,000 or 200 transactions. While the CA proposed legislation does increase the threshold to $500,000, without use of a transaction minimum to protect small sellers, tax collection in CA is unduly burdensome, compounded by the fact that CA does not provide any tax collection compensation to retailers.
- ACMA and its counsel are working with NetChoice to describe to the CA Assembly why the CA law is not consistent with the Court’s opinion in Wayfair. We are not optimistic about success in the legislature, so the next step would to be to file a case against the state asserting the law is unduly burdensome based on Wayfair.
- Thus far, no company has been willing to step forward to assist in the funding of test case litigation, but ACMA and NetChoice would consider bringing such a test case as long as it is adequately funded.
- Successful suit reversed poorly-conceived rule to tax online retailers by considering computer code “physical property.”
- Supporting ACMA member Crutchfield in its suit to invalidate MA regulation stating that annual sales greater than $500,000 establish nexus, even though the Internet retailer does not have a physical presence.
Colorado Department of Revenue
- Caused CO DOR to push back tax collection for local jurisdiction to June 1, 2019 from December 1, 2018. (Home rule jurisdictions are not administered by the CO DOR and have their own standards.)
Tennessee Department of Revenue
- After testifying and lobbying the DOR, ACMA sued to enjoin the implementation of new TN rule based on sales to the state. The DOR agreed not to enforce the rule until and unless U.S. Supreme Court reverses Quill. Post-Wayfair regulations in Tennessee were modified to incorporate ACMA concerns, resulting in a more even-handed approach.
Wyoming and Indiana statutes
- Both states adopted economic presence statutes. Sued each state, both have held off enforcing new law.
Litigation Strengthens ACMA Position
- Actual or threatened litigation has vaulted ACMA into a position of strength as states departments of revenue realize ACMA is active, has a seat at the table, and will sue to enjoin poorly constructed regulations.
Catalog Industry Advocacy & Education
- Produced groundbreaking catalog industry surveys to encourage fact-based policy discussions.
- Published valuable member reports on policy, postal and legal developments that will affect members.
- Raised profile of catalogs nationally by educating policymakers and the public about the benefits of catalogs.
- Initiated quarterly webinar series to increase education and awareness of critical issues in catalog and e-commerce.