LANSING, MI--(Marketwire - Jan 30, 2013) - (MRA) today applauded the House Republican Action Plan that includes enacting Main Street Fairness legislation to level the playing field for Michigan businesses competing against out-of-state, online merchants such as Amazon.

The Association also praised the House GOP for including Electric Choice in its action agenda as a way to reduce long-term energy costs.

"The House Republicans' legislative priorities include the retail industry's top two issues to improve Michigan's retail business climate and help create jobs," said James P. Hallan, MRA president and CEO. "We applaud House Republicans for setting forth this jobs-creating agenda, and we look forward to working with lawmakers to win passage of these measures as soon as possible."

Under current law, out-of-state, online-only businesses enjoy a 6 percent competitive advantage because they are not required to collect Michigan sales and use tax on sales to Michigan residents. MRA pushed hard last session for passage of the Main Street Fairness Act, which would close the loophole that enables many out-of-state online merchants to avoid collecting sales tax.

The Republicans' Action Plan states: "We will remove the 6 percent competitive advantage that out-of-state online retailers enjoy over Michigan companies."

On the energy front, the Action Plan calls for a review of Michigan's current 10 percent cap on the total capacity for electric customers that can shop and choose alternative suppliers.

"The current cap prevents most Michigan customers from using competition to lower their electric bills," Hallan said. "As a member of the Energy Choice Now coalition, Michigan Retailers Association looks forward to legislative actions that will lead to widespread electric savings."

Michigan Retailers Association represents nearly 5,000 members and their more than 15,000 stores and websites in Michigan. Retailers provide more than 850,000 jobs in Michigan.

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T. Scott