Yesterday, Americans for Tax Reform urged Oklahoma legislators to protect small businesses and vote against HB 2531, the Oklahoma Retail Protection Act, in a letter.

The bill, which allows retailers to collect sales tax with online purchases, is one of the measures Oklahoma is considering to fill a $1.3 billion budget shortfall and tax out-of-state retailers. But although larger retailers may be able to comply with the law, it will put a strain on smaller businesses.

The bill cleared an Oklahoma House Subcommittee on Revenue and Taxation Monday.

The letter to Oklahoma legislators can be read below:

“HB 2531 is a tax hike on Oklahoma’s small businesses.  It is too burdensome for small businesses to comply, and wrongly includes digital advertising as a part of the “market provider” definition.

This legislation will not protect retailers.  Even if larger companies are able to comply, it will harm small businesses, many of which are run by stay-at-home moms.  Moms who blog or have other webpages typically sell advertising space. When doing business in a state becomes more difficult, advertisers have often decided to cancel ad buys.

Many stay-at-home moms contribute to family income by running a store online.  This legislation not only makes it harder for moms to work from home and comply with an even more complicated tax code, it has other consequences.  As advertisers pull their dollars from the state, Oklahoma’s small business owners and stay-at-home moms will lose advertising revenue, which is often the only income factor for bloggers.

A similar bill in Utah went down in flames because “mommy bloggers” let politicians know how the bill would affect them.  In order encourage economic growth and flexible work environments for families, Oklahoma should table this legislation indefinitely. 

I ask that you vote no on HB 2531, the Oklahoma Retail Protection Act, to protect Oklahoma families.”