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Senate approves Internet sales tax; opposition looms in House

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The U.S. Senate on late Monday approved the long-debated Internet sales tax proposal, known as the Marketplace Fairness Act, by a bipartisan vote of 69 to 27. The Obama administration has already endorsed the bill, but before it can become law it must be approved by the House, where Republicans are split on the bill.

The legislation would allow the 45 states (and the District of Columbia) that currently charge sales taxes to require large online retailers to collect tax on purchases made by their residents. While some House Republicans have expressed support for the measure, others view it another tax increase on consumers or express fear it would overburden Internet businesses in their states. 

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) issued the following statement in response to the Senate vote to pass the legislation, which it described as  aimed at giving states the power — if they so choose — to better enforce their sales tax laws and to level the playing field for Main Street merchants. 

The legislation, sponsored by Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY) Richard Durbin (D-IL), Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), passed the Senate by more than a two to one margin.

“The Senate’s overwhelmingly bipartisan passage of this legislation foreshadows the end of the special treatment of big online businesses at the expense of retailers on Main Street,” said Bill Hughes, senior VP government affairs. “After such a resounding vote in the Senate, we look forward to a constructive debate in the House to level the playing field for all retailers this year.”

“For too long the Main Street retailers that are an integral part of their communities have faced tax rules that put them at a disadvantage to their out of state, online-only competitors. The Senate has voted to ensure that the market, not government, determines winners and losers,” Hughes continued. “We are confident the House will reach the same conclusion."

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Readers Respond: Getting the lead out

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The following letters were in response to an article about reform of the EPA’s Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule.

Lead paint rule and the opt-out provision:

“Why the industry even bothers to humor the EPA is beyond me.  Let the private property owner be responsible for his own ‘pollution.’  If he harms his neighbor, then he’s responsible for the consequences whether financial or otherwise.”
— Charles Veazey, Boulia-Gorrell Lumber, Laconia, N.H.

“As a sales consultant working in the window installation business for an EPA-certified contractor, I average 850 appointments per year. I can assure you here in Connecticut, the opt-out rule would be exercised by 75% of my clients who do not have young children in the home. Therefore, I agree the opt-out rule would save valuable time for my installers and money for my customers. Bring it back!”
— Name withheld

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PPG Pittsburgh Paints unveils mobile visualizer

BY HBSDealer Staff

PPG Pittsburgh Paints has released the mobile version of its The Voice of Color Paint Your Own Room Visualizer with PPG EasyEdge Technology, providing homeowners with an all-in-one digital tool that works directly from their tablet device’s mobile browser. The Voice of Color Paint Your Own Room Visualizer allows homeowners to use their tablet’s browser and camera together to take a photo and virtually paint a room through a single process.

The mobile visualizer allows homeowners to envision any color in the PPG Pittsburgh Paints line on their walls. It also allows homeowners to find their nearest PPG Pittsburgh Paints store.

"Over the past three years, we have seen a significant rise in traffic to The Voice of Color website coming from mobile devices, which coupled with the increased reliance on tablets and smartphones helped spur the development of the patent pending mobile version of the Paint Your Own Room Visualizer," said Dee Schlotter, brand manager, The Voice of Color program of the PPG Pittsburgh Paints brand. "Homeowners who had previously not been able to use the Visualizer can now have access anywhere they go." 

The Paint Your Own Room Visualizer uses the PPG EasyEdge Technology, providing virtual painters with control and detail. Homeowners simply touch the desired color and drag it to the wall they want to paint. 

Data and painted room images are saved on the Cloud, giving homeowners access to all of their stored information from any point of contact. 

To access the Paint Your Own Room Visualizer, visit: voiceofcolor.com/digital-color/paint-color-visualizer

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