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A level playing field

CompanyToby Lenk, President of Gap Inc. Direct Comment

I run the online businesses for Gap Inc. brands including Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta and Piperlime.

This is my take on “e-Fairness” legislation (California Assembly Bill155) which would require out-of-state businesses operating only online to do what California businesses already have to do – and that’s collect sales tax with each transaction.

Right now, they don’t have to, and it just doesn’t make sense that they enjoy an unfair advantage over California employers.

Retailers thrive on competition – and as a California based retailer, with 300 stores and more than 16,000 employees who work at these sites across the state – we want to compete in a level playing field.

Another important part of this is about the fact that California state and local governments lose funds to support critical functions like hospitals and schools when the state is unable to collect sales tax from out-of-state online-only businesses. 

Today, California reached a compromise with AB155 and we hope that consumers understand that “e-fairness” legislation is ultimately helping businesses, their communities and the overall economic outlook - it is groundbreaking legislation that we hope will lead other states and leaders in Washington D.C. to do the same.