President’s Message: Your urgent help is needed

We are all experiencing the unprecedented ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the safety and well-being of our people are our highest concerns, many are also struggling with their businesses and livelihoods.

We are just at the beginning stages of difficult times for the retail real estate industry, especially for many of our retailers. Countless restaurants and stores have been forced to close, and others have voluntarily closed, or sales have been greatly diminished. It’s important to note that 1 out of 4 U.S. jobs is related to retail—this will affect you, your friends and family.

We need your help. Congress is currently debating relief efforts for businesses and individuals affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Please contact your elected officials and urge them to provide federal assistance.

ICSC has made it very simple to contact your Congress members and legislators through an easy to use portal – HERE—or copy this url and paste in your web browser: It’s essential to act quickly.

If you have not had a chance to reach out, please take a minute to do so. This legislation is crucial to the retail real estate industry and our companies. The long-term strength of the shopping center industry is critical to the economic, civic and social viability of communities across the country.

Please feel free to share this message with friends, family and like-minded colleagues, and on your social media channels.

ICSC is reporting that our efforts are working…Congress hears us! We need to keep the momentum going. Every voice counts in helping retailers and small businesses get through this crisis.

Thank you,

Marty Mayer Signature



Marty Mayer

March 20, 2020|Blog, President's Message, Retail|

President’s Message: Alibaba and the Sales Tax Thieves

Over the last year and a half, I have written several messages about the pressing need for passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act. In those messages, I have cited numerous reasons including:

  1. To level the playing field.
  2. The government shouldn’t be choosing winners and losers by providing unfair tax advantages to some.
  3. The taxes are owed so this is not a new tax – just a loophole in the law (which over 98% of people don’t choose to pay).
  4. Lost sales tax revenues are crippling our state and local governments who depend on this revenue and this will only get worse unless this trend is reversed – either services will be cut or taxes will be raised in other ways.

Now, you can add yet another reason to the list – Alibaba (a Chinese company larger than Amazon and eBay combined) – recently launched the largest IPO in Wall Street history. The current loophole in the internet sales tax law will allow foreign companies, like Alibaba, to unfairly compete with our U.S. retailers who employ people here, pay taxes here, and have brick and mortar presence here. That is unfair. Watch the latest commercial that is now being run by the Alliance for Main Street Fairness.

Recently, I was in Washington, D.C. with a small group of CEOs representing the International Council of Shopping Centers. We met with key members of Congress to urge them to pass Efairness legislation. This ICSC article offers more details about our meetings.

The good news is that they are listening, but we need to continue to have our voices heard. This link offers an easy method to take action by phone, email or tweet. I encourage you to contact your members of Congress today.

December 3, 2014|Blog, Corporate, President's Message|

Survey Finds Louisianans Strongly Support Marketplace Fairness

Marketplace FairnessAs a follow-up to my previous posts about the Marketplace Fairness Act, I wanted to share the results of a recent Louisiana-specific poll. Results released by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) indicate an overwhelming majority of Louisianans (78 percent!) support federal legislation that requires online-only sellers to collect sales tax at the time of purchase. A national poll revealed similar results with the support of 70 percent of Americans.

Here’s a summary of the poll’s other key findings:

  • 89 percent of Louisianans think it would be easier to collect sales tax from online-only vendors at the time of purchase, versus paying sales and use taxes through special forms or when filing income taxes as is currently required in many states (82 percent in national poll)
  • 89 percent of Louisianans say local retailers are important to their community’s economic health (93 percent in national poll)

Louisianans and the Nation agree that it is time to pass Marketplace Fairness, which, after being combined with the Internet Tax Freedom Act, is the legislation now known as the Marketplace and Internet Tax Fairness Act (MITFA), S. 2609. As I have previously stated, it is important to level the playing field for our retailers who are employing people and paying taxes in our communities. The passage of this bill is critical to the Commercial Real Estate industry, brick-and-mortar retailers and perhaps more importantly, to our state and local governments.

I strongly encourage each of you to contact your representative and to promote this issue on social media sites with the hashtags #efairness, #MITFA, or #efairnessnow.

October 1, 2014|Blog, Corporate, President's Message|
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