During the next few weeks Congress will have the opportunity to pass e-fairness legislation, which will update our sales tax system and restore fairness to small businesses in our community.

Currently, online sellers in Maryland enjoy as much as a 7 percent price advantage over their brick-and-mortar counterparts. This competitive disadvantage severely hinders the growth of our local economy, the success of retail merchants and the creation of new jobs.

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E-fairness legislation does not, as opponents claim, raise or introduce new taxes. Instead, it allows our state to enforce existing tax laws in a way that equalizes the collection burden for both online sellers and local merchants.

Congress should no longer be in the business of picking winners and losers in the marketplace. I hope that our elected officials will address this important issue this year. There is no better time than now.

Steve Cook, Baltimore

The writer is chairman and CEO of Northeastern Supply, a plumbing, HVAC and water systems business.

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