NMMA urges support of tax bill

WASHINGTON – The National Marine Manufacturers Association has signed a letter urging passage of a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would clarify the state tax nexus issue for its members, NMMA reported in a release yesterday.

The letter was sent to House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) urging him to pass H.R. 1956 – the Business Activity Tax Simplification Act of 2005 – out of committee and send it to the full House for consideration in the first session of the 109th Congress.

NMMA said BATSA would save boat manufacturers millions in state taxes levied upon things like warranty repairs and ownership transfers among dealers, because so many boat manufacturers conduct business across state lines without ever establishing physical presence.

“This bill would clarify the state tax nexus issue for our members, simplifying their accounting procedures and making it easier to recognize when a nexus has been created,” said Monita Fontaine, NMMA vice president of government relations.

BATSA, recently introduced by Representatives Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Rick Boucher (D-Va.) and others, would codify the majority view among state courts and tribunals that the Constitution requires a business to have a physical presence in a state before that business can be subjected to a state's business activity tax.

NMMA said the legislation is designed to clarify “physical presence” so businesses will know which activities trigger nexus in a state, significantly reducing room for interpretation of presence, hopefully to the point that a "bricks and mortar" facility would be required in a state before a company would be liable for state income, franchise or sales taxes.

NMMA was a cosignatory of the letter along with dozens of organizations, corporations and associations who created a coalition to help make BATSA become a law.

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