This week, the American Booksellers Association, working with two regional trade associations, hosted sales tax fairness workshops in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Manhattan Beach, California. Both workshops were held in conjunction with ABA Spring Forums. In Utah, ABA worked with the Mountain and Plains Independent Booksellers Association (MPIBA) and The King’s English Bookshop in organizing the workshop, and in California ABA worked with the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association (SCIBA).
At both workshops, ABA CEO Oren Teicher provided an overview of local sales tax fairness efforts, discussed the importance to all bricks-and-mortar retailers of the fight for a level playing field, shared resources available to members, and outlined what retailers can do to effectively advocate for legislation and change.
Teicher said, “We are very grateful to Betsy Burton, co-owner of The King’s English, and her colleagues, to Laura Ayrey, MPIBA’s executive director, and to Jennifer Bigelow, SCIBA’s executive director, for all that they did to help make these workshops so successful. Sales tax fairness is a critically important issue, and being able to share the latest updates regarding issues and legislation with booksellers, other retailers, and public officials is a key component in securing future legislative victories. Hearing firsthand from them about their local realities helps us improve our advocacy efforts immensely.”
The Salt Lake City workshop, held at Fresco Italian Café, next door to The King’s English Bookshop, was attended by approximately 35 people, from bookstores, other retail establishments, and city and state government. In Manhattan Beach, approximately 55 people – booksellers and other retailers – attended the workshop at Manhattan Beach Marriott. Participants characterized the workshops as informative and productive, and at both meetings they received action kits containing background information, fact sheets, sample letters to elected officials, and other materials.
The King’s English General Manager Anne Holman said, “We were really delighted about how well the event went,” adding that it was clear that many at the workshop – including those from local and state government – “now had a much better grasp of the sales tax equity issue.”
A wide range of sales tax-related materials are available at BookWeb.org’s E-Fairness Action Kit.