End the import tax on shoes by Payless ShoeSource CEO W. Paul Jones

End the import tax on shoes by Payless ShoeSource CEO W. Paul Jones


Payless ShoeSource is proud of its northeast Kansas roots. We know the only real formula for success is hard work, persistence and a focus on delivering exceptional value and service. For Payless, this means viewing everything we do on a day-to-day basis through the eyes of the millions of moms and families who enter our stores each year trying to make sure they find footwear and accessories at affordable prices that they can feel great wearing.

Few Americans realize the federal government imposes an outdated, regressive tax on imported shoes. Because of these duties, the vast majority of families, wherever they shop, are paying more than they should for footwear. Payless ShoeSource has been leading a coalition to eliminate this hidden tax on shoes. The shoe duty was put in place in the 1930s, but so much has changed since then. Today, less than 1 percent of the shoes Americans buy are made in this country. Yet this outdated tax on imported shoes remains on the books.

Clearly, the time has come to eliminate the shoe tax and we are optimistic that can be achieved in 2013. Payless ShoeSource is very appreciative of the support our industry has received on this issue from Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran and, especially, Rep. Lynn Jenkins, who has championed this footwear legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives as the bill’s lead sponsor. With her leadership in pushing for the elimination of this hidden, archaic tax on shoes, the bill stands a good chance of succeeding and making footwear more affordable for families across Kansas and the rest of the nation.