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Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg is even going as far as gaining support for a bill that prevents Amazon from bringing a referendum to unravel the present sales tax law  (Source: uncoverage.net)

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos
If state leaders can put a hold on the new law until 2014, Amazon will drop its effort to repeal it and would hire 7,000 new employees in California

Amazon has been fighting a tax-related battle for quite some time now. In the past, state's like Texas, Illinois and Colorado have pressured the online retailer to collect taxes in order to make up for state budget shortfalls, but Amazon refused and would simply pack its bags to move on to another state.

California recently joined the list of states who've pressured Amazon to collect. In fact, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill in June that would require websites that forward shoppers to Amazon to collect sales tax in California. The law, which took effect July 1 and is expected to generate $200 million in revenue, angered Amazon to the point that it asked California voters to repeal the law.

Now, Amazon has a new proposition for the state of California that was discussed in a meeting Tuesday with leaders of the California Retailers Association and those in the office state Senate Republican Bob Dutton in Sacramento: If state leaders can put a hold on the new law until 2014, Amazon will drop its effort to repeal it and would hire 7,000 new employees in California.

While the hiring spree could be an appealing option for the state, since California's unemployment rate was at 12 percent in July and is expected to remain in the double-digits through 2012, Democrats are rejecting Amazon's proposal due to budget-related woes.

Earlier this year, state leaders needed to close a $10 billion shortfall. This gap was closed in June after deep spending cuts in previous budget cycles, but Democrats are backing the new law due to the fact that it has the support of local governments, public employees and small and large businesses.

Brick-and-mortar businesses like Best Buy and Walmart have been complaining about "unfair competition" with Amazon since they have to collect taxes and Amazon doesn't. The California Retailers Association quickly rejected Amazon's proposal.

"Our people came back and said this isn't legitimate," said Bill Dombrowski, president of the California Retailers Association. "It's unacceptable."

As for local governments and public employees, their "ranks are being thinned" due to a weak local revenue and overall state.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg is even going as far as gaining support for a bill that prevents Amazon from bringing a referendum to unravel the present sales tax law. Amazon spokespeople said they believe they'll have enough voter signatures by September 27 to qualify its referendum for next year's ballot.

In addition, Steinberg and other Democrats will create California jobs without the help of Amazon by proposing tax breaks for businesses, creating an economic development office and easing regulation.


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Extortion?
By DoeBoy on 9/2/2011 10:48:02 AM , Rating: 1
This comes off as extortion to me.




RE: Extortion?
By jdietz on 9/2/2011 11:03:01 AM , Rating: 4
Happens all the time. State government gives an organization a tax break or tax-free status in exchange for them opening a business or major operation in the state. Organizations shop around to get the best deal from government.

Examples include pharmaceutical manufacturing facility, vehicle assembly plant, and now merchandise warehouse.


RE: Extortion?
By AntiM on 9/2/2011 11:45:25 AM , Rating: 5
They would be wise to accept the deal. Plus, it's only for a 2 year waiting period. 2 years is nothing when you have a $10 billion deficit.
10 billion?? How the hell do you even get even $1 billion in debt.
Just because a few groups are in opposition to it doesn't mean it wouldn't benefit the vast majority.


RE: Extortion?
By KamiXkaze on 9/3/2011 11:02:55 AM , Rating: 2
That is easy government has never been able to balance a budget. There are a few states that can sadly California is not one of them.

KxK


RE: Extortion?
By foolsgambit11 on 9/4/2011 2:26:00 AM , Rating: 2
California's budget issues are, in large part (though not entirely), due to their voting public hamstringing the government with ballot measures that severely limit its ability to control spending and revenue. Voters look at the one-line description of an initiative or referendum and think, "oh, that sounds pretty good" without understanding the nuances of the restrictions they impose or thinking of the long-term ramifications of these measures.

Given their restrictions, I can understand why the California legislature couldn't take Amazon up on its offer. It's like triage - you have to staunch the bleeding (budget) first, before you can move on to the infection (unemployment). Even if you have to use a dirty rag for the bandage.

I'm not a fan of this law, or others like it, though. Collecting taxes on interstate trade is, according to the Supreme Court, a power of the federal government, and not state governments. So this law will likely be struck down eventually unless the federal government passes a law delegating their responsibility to the states (hah!).


RE: Extortion?
By Some1ne on 9/3/2011 3:22:34 AM , Rating: 2
But he's still completely correct. Attempting to collect tax on online purchases is nothing short of extortion. The state government should be ashamed.


RE: Extortion?
By Spuke on 9/2/2011 12:11:19 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
This comes off as extortion to me.
But the continued spending into oblivion by the state governments is ok? And with the 5.4 businesses per week leaving California so far this year up from 1 business per week in 2009, the state NEEDS to do something about its unfriendliness to businesses. I think Amazon is being nice here, if it was me, I would've given them the middle finger and stayed away. No legal action or anything.


RE: Extortion?
By YashBudini on 9/2/2011 12:25:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
the state NEEDS to do something about its unfriendliness to businesses.


Is the change the result of the business climate or the economic climate in general? All businesses have some ongoing constant expenditures. Are they moving out of state or simply closing up shop to cut their loses? Like many businesses do during bad times all over the world?

There's a reason when people enter a witness stand that they swear to tell the truth and the whole truth an nothing but the truth. It's because half a truth is often as bad as a lie, sometimes worse. I don't mean you in particular, I mean in general.


RE: Extortion?
By Spuke on 9/2/2011 2:08:53 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Is the change the result of the business climate or the economic climate in general?
This has been something that's been going on for quite a few years. It's really the business climate. Even when things were "good", business was leaving anyways. Same thing with residents, in the last 10 years, 2.2 million more tax payers left the state than entered.

I would like to see the trends in the next 5 years. There is a lot of fear in business currently with the proposed Final Solutions Act that will regulate CO2 emissions in the state. If that gets passed (on hold for now), 1 million people will be out of a job and that's according to the state government's study. Who knows what the real number will be.


RE: Extortion?
By YashBudini on 9/2/2011 4:10:55 PM , Rating: 2
Leaving or folding? And yes companies move about in good economic times. Again, without national data how do you put CA's data into context?

Do you have stats about how many businesses fold after 1 year? Around here in good economic times the rate was about 50%.

quote:
, in the last 10 years, 2.2 million more tax payers left the state than entered.

Yes, but what percentage of that is the result of this?
http://www.epi.org/economic_snapshots/entry/corpor...

IBM had record profits last year and let go of 5000 people. Do they have any choice than to move to a lower cost area?

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/duress
Not a choice.


RE: Extortion?
By YashBudini on 9/2/2011 10:54:16 PM , Rating: 2
Nobody is posting anything other than opinions. I posted some links to actual info and got rated down.

You have a lot to be proud of here Jason.


RE: Extortion?
By EricMartello on 9/2/2011 11:12:15 PM , Rating: 2
Welcome to DT, where facts are frowned upon and hearsay rules. If you want high ratings try making references to idiotic, overused memes.


RE: Extortion?
By YashBudini on 9/2/2011 11:26:58 PM , Rating: 3
If you post you can't rate. It should really be the other way around. If you can't contribute you shouldn't have the right to rate.

There's also the misconception that the person who yells the loudest and puts the L on their forehead wins the argument. I wonder where such techniques were learned from? OK, not really, we all know where they came from.


RE: Extortion?
By Spuke on 9/2/2011 11:31:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Leaving or folding? And yes companies move about in good economic times. Again, without national data how do you put CA's data into context?
The numbers are just businesses leaving the state. The context of the data is that in 2009 there was 1 business per week leaving the state, now in the first ~8 months of this year, there are now 5+ businesses leaving the state.


RE: Extortion?
By Samus on 9/2/2011 3:36:57 PM , Rating: 1
What I find amazing is corporations get so fed up with California they actually relocate to substantially more expensive places to operate a business, such as Oregon and Washington. Oregon alone has a 10% (or something ridiculous) state income tax. But, no sales tax, so depending on your industry, that can help you.


RE: Extortion?
By ClownPuncher on 9/2/2011 5:58:18 PM , Rating: 2
No income tax and no corporate tax in WA. Some of the largest and most profitable companies in the world locate themselves here for those reasons, and having one of the more active ports in the country doesn't hurt either.


RE: Extortion?
By YashBudini on 9/2/2011 6:51:44 PM , Rating: 2
So where do revenues come from? New Hampshire has no sales tax, but oppressive real estate taxes, which explains the over population of trailer homes as opposed to permanent homes.


RE: Extortion?
By Solandri on 9/2/2011 6:59:14 PM , Rating: 2
Washington has a high sales tax (nearly as high as California's), and moderately high property taxes. It's also not exactly true that there's no corporate income tax. Washington uses a corporate business and occupation tax. Depending on your industry, you must hand over a certain percentage of your gross revenue to the state (around 1% for most businesses). I suspect they did this in response to Boeing and Microsoft shifting profits to out-of-state and overseas entities so they could claim they made no profit, and hence owed no corporate income tax.


RE: Extortion?
By ClownPuncher on 9/2/2011 7:09:20 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, that is fairly accurate.


RE: Extortion?
By YashBudini on 9/2/2011 7:26:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
you must hand over a certain percentage of your gross revenue to the state (around 1% for most businesses)

Talk about simplifying the tax code.


RE: Extortion?
By dark matter on 9/4/11, Rating: 0
RE: Extortion?
By ClownPuncher on 9/2/2011 6:59:58 PM , Rating: 2
Sales tax, business and excise tax, state controlled liquor board etc. We also export a lot of goods.

For such a liberal state, the tax codes are a bit regressive. It obviously isn't perfect, but hopefully a bit more business friendly.


RE: Extortion?
By YashBudini on 9/2/2011 7:28:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
For such a liberal state, the tax codes are a bit regressive. It obviously isn't perfect, but hopefully a bit more business friendly.

Compromise all too often is as good as it gets. Extremist views in either direction are usually a much larger fail.


RE: Extortion?
By ipay on 9/2/2011 4:35:19 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
And with the 5.4 businesses per week leaving California so far this year up from 1 business per week in 2009, the state NEEDS to do something about its unfriendliness to businesses.

Isn't that what this is doing? There's a reason local retailers are backing this - because it makes their local stores (that are employing Californian's) more price competitive with the online companies who are mostly employing people in other states. And the article goes on to mention that they are planning on implementing tax breaks for local businesses. This is pretty clearly a move to 1 - increase revenue, and 2 - help local business while discouraging them from moving out of state and to an online model.
quote:
I think Amazon is being nice here, if it was me, I would've given them the middle finger and stayed away.

Amazon can't just stop selling stuff in California. If you think that's their best option you have no concept of business realities. Or did you just mean they should ignore California when they send the bill? That's an option, but California would certainly sue in that case, at which point it would be impossible to just ignore.


RE: Extortion?
By borismkv on 9/2/2011 5:18:31 PM , Rating: 2
Amazon doesn't *have* to stop selling things in California. State governments do not have the authority to force online retailers to collect taxes if they don't have a physical presence in their state, based on a supreme court ruling. Basically, because Amazon has partners with offices in the state of California, this law would force them to collect sales taxes on sales made to the state of California, period. What Amazon *can* do is shut down relationships with any partners in the state of California. For some of those partners, that's a big chunk of their income. Doing so could cause a great deal of loss for the state of California in both jobs and tax income.

Amazon has none of its physical operations located in California. They're basically saying, "Put the law on hold and we'll start operating directly in California."

Living in Arizona, I already have to pay sales taxes on Amazon purchases since they have a Warehouse near Phoenix. I do, however, get everything from there within 2 days no matter what shipping method I pick.


RE: Extortion?
By ipay on 9/2/2011 5:43:51 PM , Rating: 2
That's a matter for the lawyers to hammer out, and I won't pretend to have enough knowledge about it. However, i was under the impression that this was a bit of a grey area, and that California would likely sue over it anyway, with the final court decision unknown.

It's fairly common practice for businesses to settle patent cases out of court even when they know they would have won, simply because it's cheaper to pay the other way to go away than it is to pay your lawyers to go through a long court battle. The same may be true here.


RE: Extortion?
By dark matter on 9/4/2011 1:12:21 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, if you don't know, why are you arguing with someone who obviously does.


RE: Extortion?
By Spuke on 9/2/2011 11:36:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Isn't that what this is doing? There's a reason local retailers are backing this - because it makes their local stores (that are employing Californian's) more price competitive with the online companies who are mostly employing people in other states.
Tell that to the 10,000 businesses that lost out when Amazon cut their contracts with them that they aren't employing Californians. Also, web presence doesn't mean there is no physical presence. Where do you think merchandise is kept? In fairyland with the unicorns?


RE: Extortion?
By Reclaimer77 on 9/3/2011 12:54:44 AM , Rating: 2
This isn't about being "fair" to local business, it's about making the state more money. If they wanted to be "fair", they would cut local state taxes to boost revenue and consumerism, NOT try to hammer their own taxpayers and force them to pay taxes on Internet sales.

How does taxing one sales medium make it more "fair" for the other? Think about it. Are brick and mortar stores going to benefit from Amazon sales taxes? They sure as hell aren't going to be seeing any of that money.


RE: Extortion?
By eskimospy on 9/3/2011 3:38:00 PM , Rating: 2
Haha. 'If they wanted to be 'fair' they would conform to my ideology!'

Fairness has to do with a level playing field for all participants, it has nothing to do with whether you are raising or lowering taxes to do it.

Current tax structure incentivizes consumers to shop online for no good reason. That should end, and anyone looking at this situation rationally knows it isn't going to end through the abolition of sales tax. Considering that sales taxes are a consumption based tax, I would think that conservatives would be a big fan of revenue generation in this way. Not only are we removing a market distortion, but we're regressively taxing to do it!

Oh wait, it's something Democrats support and they aren't on your political sports team.


RE: Extortion?
By Netscorer on 9/2/2011 12:37:56 PM , Rating: 2
Does happen every day. Our company was ending its lease and since we are situated in Stamford, CT (close to NY state border)we first extorted CT for concessions by threatening to move headquarters to White Plains, NY and once we won that battle we extorted Stamford even further by threatening to move to Greenwich, CT. Welcome to the corporate America.


RE: Extortion?
By sigmatau on 9/2/2011 2:52:08 PM , Rating: 1
These companies are slimeballs. Just like AT&T, Amazon is holding jobs hostage so they can get more bonuses for their slimeball executives. I think that any company that says any crap like these companies did, they should get charged a higher tax rate. Apparently they spit on the privalege to do business in the US.


RE: Extortion?
By ClownPuncher on 9/2/2011 3:52:08 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure anything you posted here is correct.


RE: Extortion?
By YashBudini on 9/2/2011 5:55:54 PM , Rating: 2
I think his last sentence is the very definition of global, but it applies to all countries, not just here. Otherwise you got it right.


RE: Extortion?
By Spuke on 9/2/2011 3:57:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Just like AT&T, Amazon is holding jobs hostage so they can get more bonuses for their slimeball executives.
State exactly how collecting sales taxes puts money in Amazons pocket.


RE: Extortion?
By V-Money on 9/2/2011 5:10:49 PM , Rating: 3
So what you are saying is that a business should be punished for trying to remain profitable and utilizing any advantages they have...I'd hate for Walmart and Best Buy to lose some customers because of this, it can't have anything to do with the piss poor customer service or crowded stores. Ever since amazon prime came out I stopped going to both of those stores altogether, and its not because of the tax savings. Oh, also, because I hate people who don't backup anything they say...
http://www.forbes.com/2011/04/04/most-least-reputa... Turns out amazon is just a wonderful place to shop. But these slimeballs are just ruining our country ;-)


RE: Extortion?
By YashBudini on 9/2/2011 11:47:28 PM , Rating: 2
I wish your chart had included net profits, would love to see who actually wins. I got a C-Note it's the ones doing the most damage to the country.

The bottom consists of 4 major players in the economic collapse, followed by Halliburton (I wonder how it go there? OK, no I don't.), Exxon Mobil, more banks, Comcast, bank, News Corporation.

And the list was published by Forbes. It speaks for itself.

Thanks.


RE: Extortion?
By YashBudini on 9/3/2011 12:31:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
it can't have anything to do with the piss poor customer service or crowded stores.

Best Buy has 1 great purpose. You research what monitor you want to buy, you go play with it at Best Buy to see if it suits you, then you go buy it online.

The days of 240+ pound 32" and 36" CRTs meant buying at places like Best Buy for lack of shipping costs and being able to return it without more shipping costs. Otherwise if your "everyday low price" is manufacturer's suggested retail then you can shop for stuff anywhere.


RE: Extortion?
By clob on 9/3/2011 1:33:02 PM , Rating: 2
Does it matter. They will pass the cost on the the consumer. Look at your receipt. It will have a state tax on it that YOU will pay. The fact that they don't want this, is actually fighting for their customers.


So cut spending
By FITCamaro on 9/2/2011 10:39:23 AM , Rating: 5
By creating another government office.

Only in Kalifornia folks.




RE: So cut spending
By YashBudini on 9/2/11, Rating: -1
RE: So cut spending
By AssBall on 9/2/2011 12:32:29 PM , Rating: 2
You miss the point as usual. Not all of the other 49 state governments spend beyond their means.


RE: So cut spending
By FITCamaro on 9/2/2011 2:23:24 PM , Rating: 3
To be fair nearly all do.

California just takes it to a whole new level though.


RE: So cut spending
By YashBudini on 9/2/2011 3:57:50 PM , Rating: 2
So what was the point of his rebuttal?


RE: So cut spending
By V-Money on 9/2/2011 7:23:31 PM , Rating: 2
As much as I love Cali, after recently returning from spending 6 years in the Navy on the East Coast it almost brings me to tears how much this state is going downhill. Other states overspend too, but I hope people can realize that THAT IS NO EXCUSE, nor does it justify what they are doing. It's the same with the federal government, if we don't have the money, quit spending it. I do care about California's irresponsible spending because I live here and I would like to stay, but it makes me sick to pay taxes to pay for this nonsense. I had to pay $4,000 (use tax) to register my car here that I bought 6 months before in CT while stationed there, and they accused me of trying to get out of paying taxes when I contested it. I wasn't even trying to be unreasonable, I only asked that they charge me based on the current value of the car since I bought it new off the lot, 6 months had passed, and it was involved in an accident. Here's a link to the enacted budget for 2011-2012 which also shows where the money is spent. I recommend reading it before mindlessly supporting/defending our pathetic excuse for a government. http://www.ebudget.ca.gov/Enacted/BudgetSummary/BS...


RE: So cut spending
By YashBudini on 9/2/2011 11:35:49 PM , Rating: 2
http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/

A good start would be to get rid of these idiots. Take some criminal justice courses and discover the 9th District has always been a laughing stock. Wasteful because so many of their decisions need to be overturned.

In private business such incompetence wouldn't even be able to collect unemployment (fired for cause), let alone making critical decisions.


RE: So cut spending
By YashBudini on 9/2/2011 4:48:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Not all of the other 49 state governments spend beyond their means.

Exclude the ones that got money coming out of the ground (oil, coal) and who's left?


RE: So cut spending
By borismkv on 9/2/2011 5:29:32 PM , Rating: 2
Umm...The only state in the US that doesn't have a significant mining/drilling presence is Hawaii. The US is pretty rife with natural resources. Part of the reason our Economy leads the world.


RE: So cut spending
By YashBudini on 9/2/2011 5:45:15 PM , Rating: 2
OK, I neglected to include the word significant. My oversight.


RE: So cut spending
By Mr772 on 9/2/2011 6:22:27 PM , Rating: 2
Government is the problem. Taxes are the problem. As soon as the people wakeup and realize that we can Elect Ron Paul and save this nation. If the federal and state gov's continue to tax and spend and this country will continue to crumble. We need to abolish the income tax and turn the government money sucking machine OFF!


Overspending
By YashBudini on 9/2/2011 5:43:20 PM , Rating: 3
What everything everybody said about town city state budgets is all true, but there's stuff not being addressed.

Let say you work and have a family. It's time to buy a house, right? Who buys a house cash only? Nobody we know personally, at least not a first house. You get a loan, it's how our economy works. If everyone waited to buy a house outright the entire economy would grind to a halt. Hell most people get loans for far less than houses, so it makes sense to get a mortgage.

You get a mortgage based on certain assumptions, like you're reasonably sure you'll be employed or could find a job in a reasonable turnaround time. So you go out and get a mortgage, move into your home, and you are slightly strapped for a while. The tax breaks come in handy, but don't fix things completely.

Then

The unthinkable happens, you lose your job, and you can't find work. No matter how well you planned and saved you're now running a huge fiscal deficit. Yeah you had 6 months savings on the side, no matter, it's gone. Thrown in COBRA payments if you're lucky (I won't mention the kind of luck, that's up to you).

Does this type of "overspending" seem reckless? Yeah you can try to sell the house, but it's value has dropped, whether or not you did anything wrong is beside the point. Are such families idiots? I'm not talking about the ones with balloon payments that planned on future growth that never arrived, I'm talking about mundane house buying for a place to live.

In developing their (flawed) budgets governments, like for profit corporations, attempt to assess future revenues. The family did this as well, just not successfully. With the 2008 tanking government revenues dwindled along with discretionary spending and lots of other stuff. This is not an excuse for what governments do, but it is a factor.

Of course it wasn't you, the governments, or myself that labeled toxic mortgages as "safe" and created a global disaster as a result. But we all pay the price just the same. All meaning all except those that caused the mess.

You could probably find a handful (and no more) or municipalities that were reasonably run up until 2008. Those places tanked along with the rest. Like the family they have flat rate expenditures regardless of income level.

It's worthy and deserved to blame the government for a lot, it's hardly accurate to act like they are the sole problem. My point? If you formed a viewpoint based on past sound bites you've sold yourself short.




RE: Overspending
By Mr772 on 9/2/2011 6:40:21 PM , Rating: 2
As soon as you and everyone else realize that government IS the problem the better off all of us will be. Government is not good at anything except the military and even there we have out of control spending. GOVERNMENT JOBS DO NOT CREATE GROWTH, THEY SUCK THE LIFE OUT OF GROWTH AND ARE A BURDEN TO ALL OF US.


RE: Overspending
By YashBudini on 9/2/2011 11:17:01 PM , Rating: 1
Then this should please you:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_anarchist_com...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somalia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albania

A large part of eastern Europe may suit your requirements as well.


RE: Overspending
By Spuke on 9/2/2011 11:52:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's worthy and deserved to blame the government for a lot, it's hardly accurate to act like they are the sole problem.
I can't speak for the other states but California's budget problems are public knowledge and not new. This is a problem that existed before the recession. I don't know of too my CA residents that believe all was well and good with CA's government and their budget before the start of the recession. If their spending wasn't so reckless, maybe we would be a couple hundred million in debt instead of 10 billion. If their spending wasn't so reckless, maybe we would be a bit more understanding if they tried to raise taxes or cut fireman/teachers/policemen to help fix the budget. But, nope, that is not reality in this state. They continue to create new problems like a 40 million dollar per year program where our tax money is used to fund illegal immigrant educations. I thought we were in a budget crisis? That's what our so-called leaders tell us. We need to raise your taxes to fix the budget! Liars!! We need to raise your taxes to not only keep our entitlement programs going, we need it to create new one's! LOL! A lot of people I know would prefer to stay and duke it out. I, like the other 2.2 million people, would rather leave. And I will very soon.


RE: Overspending
By YashBudini on 9/3/2011 12:02:51 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
They continue to create new problems like a 40 million dollar per year program where our tax money is used to fund illegal immigrant educations.

Nobody is fighting this in court? Do the people who passed such a bill expect to be reelected?


All industries do this
By bobdelt on 9/2/2011 11:07:22 AM , Rating: 1
One of the biggest offenders is the super libreal media industry. Look where they film movies... anywhere they can get the biggest sweetheart tax break.

Same with any major company deploying a new business venture or new headquarters.....They all offer jobs in exchange for tax breaks. Companies all the time get special tax cuts just for them for creating jobs by negotiating with the government.




RE: All industries do this
By YashBudini on 9/2/2011 5:49:32 PM , Rating: 2
To a degree every movie made is a gamble. Mitigating up front costs seems to be a reasonable capitalistic goal. It makes common sense as well.

How this is partisan?


RE: All industries do this
By KCjoker on 9/2/2011 7:29:54 PM , Rating: 1
Because those liberals whine when the thought of tax breaks to companies are mentioned. They want higher taxes yet then film movies where taxes are cheaper.


RE: All industries do this
By YashBudini on 9/2/2011 7:43:21 PM , Rating: 2
The action of the movie makers remains unaddressed and non-partisan. What those left behind do is of no consequence.

Please try to stay on target.


12 going on 25%
By Shadowmaster625 on 9/2/2011 1:57:28 PM , Rating: 4
California *official* unemployment could be at 25% and those filthy scum would still fight tooth and nail to raise taxes to pay for all those disgustingly overpaid public school administrators and police chiefs.




Isn't this a moot point at the state level?
By Sulik2 on 9/2/2011 2:24:06 PM , Rating: 2
I was under the impression that no taxation without representation applied to online retailers. If they have no physical properties in the state they can't charge sales tax. And taxing an out of state company would involve interstate commerce which the constitution gives the sole power to congress to regulate.

If you want to tax Amazon in a state it doesn't operate in you would need a federal sales tax wouldn't you? How are all these states getting Amazon sales tax laws through the courts on these issues?




By Spuke on 9/2/2011 2:30:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
How are all these states getting Amazon sales tax laws through the courts on these issues?
Amazon HAD a physical presence through some third party businesses. Amazon DOES collect sales tax in some states where they have a direct presence.


By technozombie on 9/2/2011 2:58:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In addition, Steinberg and other Democrats will create California jobs without the help of Amazon by proposing tax breaks for businesses, creating an economic development office and easing regulation.


They want to tax Amazon but ease taxes on other businesses?Create and economic development office, spend more money when you are already broke?
The only thing that makes sense is easing regulation.




By Spuke on 9/2/2011 3:58:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They want to tax Amazon but ease taxes on other businesses?
They're not taxing Amazon. They want Amazon to COLLECT sales taxes from their CA customers. Amazon contends that they don't have to because they do not have a physical presence in the state.


Government should layoff people and cut benefit.
By Roy2001 on 9/2/2011 5:29:32 PM , Rating: 2
Californian legislation, in order to remove deficit, you only have TWO ways, either way or combined:

1. Cut government employee's benefit, cut the pension.

2. Layoff government employee.

Where there is deficit, you should NOT just think about raise/increase tax!

When a private business ran out of money they have to take loan or layoff people. Why, government cannot?




By joex444 on 9/4/2011 8:12:43 AM , Rating: 2
You're kind of dumb, huh?

While cutting government employee benefits and pensions would help to reduce the deficit, as would simply laying off government workers, there is another part to the deficit. You see, dear simpleton, a deficit is the word we use to refer to the magnitude of the difference between spending and revenue (what normal folks would call income), provided that spending is larger than revenue -- thus implying a net negative balance. Had the revenue been larger we would refer to this as a surplus and nobody would complain, as everyone is happy. So happy in fact, legislators may decide to buy things like roads and parks.

Sadly, CA has a deficit. And it's a big one. In a case like this you simply can't layoff everybody and expect that to recoup the $10B they're in the hole.

You have two more choices:

3. Cut spending on state-sponsored programs
4. Raise taxes on people / find new things to tax

Currently CA is not receiving sales tax from sales made to CA residents from Amazon. Supposing this tax they approved can collect the $200M they think it can, and it does so for 2 years, that's $400M. It's 4% of the budget deficit, rather worth doing it.

However, consider Amazon's proposal. It would require each worker to net the state about $29,000 to do as well as simply taxing sales. I'm sure you believe this means each worker must pay $29,000 in taxes, and figure at a state tax rate of 5.3% (I'm using MA state tax here), each worker would need to be paid about $540k/yr. Which would cost Amazon $3.7B/yr, how stupid.

But no, it doesn't work that way. If even half of the hired employees are currently receiving unemployment and have, on average, half of their payments due then it saves the state a bundle by not paying unemployment. (This is like that whole cutting services thing you have managed to miss.) We can't simply assume that everyone Amazon hires has all the unemployment payments due to them, some will have had it run out and others simply weren't eligible to start with. In addition, Amazon would now have to contribute to the unemployment fund because they have hired 7,000 people. It's even better! And Amazon has agreed that in 2014 they will collect sales tax.

Now taking this into consideration, I estimate that the 7,000 workers would end up saving CA about $43M/yr. It's not much compared to the $200M/yr collecting sales tax would be. But with the former it is legal (though Amazon still sounds like they're extorting CA), whereas the latter may very well be struck down in the SC and then CA would owe up to $400M to Amazon.


State Taxes and Cali Regs...
By NicodemusMM on 9/2/2011 12:57:48 PM , Rating: 2
"In addition, Steinberg and other Democrats will create California jobs without the help of Amazon by proposing tax breaks for businesses, creating an economic development office and easing regulation."

So when is this magical journey supposed to begin and why didn't something like this happen 2+ years ago? If it really was so simple they should be removed from office for gross negligence/incompetence for having not done so previously.

I just don't see any likelihood of California lowering taxes and easing regulation in a meaningful way that would draw businesses back. As a business owner I would rather bathe using a belt sander than move my business into such a ridiculous business climate. I would also fear that once they got a few companies to move in regulations/taxes would just go back to current standards... or worse.

On the matter of Amazon and taxes... I don't shop there to avoid taxes. I look at Amazon as digital distribution of physical goods. I shop there because of a better selection, customer reviews and 24/7, clothing-optional convenience. Sales tax won't prevent that for me or many other people and these are things that brick-n'-mortar stores couldn't easily implement.

~ Nicodemus




By Roy2001 on 9/2/2011 5:29:33 PM , Rating: 2
Californian legislation, in order to remove deficit, you only have TWO ways, either way or combined:

1. Cut government employee's benefit, cut the pension.

2. Layoff government employee.

Where there is deficit, you should NOT just think about raise/increase tax!

When a private business ran out of money they have to take loan or layoff people. Why, government cannot?




Ballot initiative?
By Philippine Mango on 9/3/2011 2:27:40 AM , Rating: 2
Where is this ballot Initiative so that I can sign this thing? (I'm a California Resident)




Some states/people will never learn
By tayb on 9/3/2011 7:32:48 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe if enough states try the money grab Amazon will just take the company and all the people it employs and head overseas. That's what we like companies to do now anyway, right?

We have a budget problem so let us tax businesses like Amazon. Those wars that are costing tax payers hundreds of billions a year? Nah, nothing to cut there, let's just keep pushing business overseas until there aren't any left.

USA! USA!




scroo bezos
By OBLAMA2009 on 9/4/2011 11:25:50 AM , Rating: 2
amazon should pay tax like every other business




Why Amazon needs to pay taxes
By soghjai on 9/7/2011 5:21:20 PM , Rating: 2
1) Local businesses support local economies through taxes, employment, donations, etc.

2) Local stores are more convenient.

3) The government will get their money one way or another. I rather pay higher sales tax than income or property tax.




CA Stage 4 Cancer
By Radiomachine on 9/2/2011 9:37:58 PM , Rating: 1
None of these leftist clowns in the CA state legislature could run a hot dog stand. It would go bankrupt in 2 hours because they would give the hot dogs away for free and pay their employees $100 an hour.




Of course...
By navair2 on 9/2/2011 11:37:00 PM , Rating: 1
NOOOO! Don't let it happen...DON'T go easy on those pesky corporations, who try to get fat off the people's backs...TAX them until they get fed up and move their industry out of the country and into other, more "genteel" places.

Wait...it's already happened California, New York, Illinois and nearly all the other states in the US...look at where your tax-and-spend policies have gotten you: into mountains of debt, crying for more "revenue" from the already over-burdened corporations that provide JOBS to people who need them.

If you can't spend it responsibly, then you should have it taken away from you....and so it HAS BEEN TAKEN AWAY...right to CHINA! Mexico! Taiwan! Indonesia! ( Fill in the blank, anywhere but the US)!

Here's a solution to your "shortfalls", irresponsible American government: TAX them until they bleed, fold up and move away...good idea eh? IT'S WORKING.

End Rant.




By nocturne_81 on 9/3/2011 7:27:32 PM , Rating: 1
No matter what side of the debate you stand on, it can't be denied that no state can tax any interstate commerce without a federal statute authorizing it. As our constitution states:

Article 1, Section 8:
"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;. . .To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;"

And the 10th amendment:
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

I always chuckle every year when I come to the line in our state income tax form that demands you pay uncollected sales tax for any goods you purchased out of state or off the internet.. Go ahead, Ohio -- sue me!

No state tax on Amazon will ever fly until a federal act such as Dick Durbin's Main Street Protection Act gets ratified; which will only end up in the states bickering and arguing for their fair share (who has the right to collect -- the state which the product is sold from, the state which a product is shipped from, or the state where it arrives?). Meanwhile, it could be entirely worth it for Amazon to move all of it's operations to states with no sales tax, giving Cali the finger in the process.




The new world order
By wiz220 on 9/2/11, Rating: -1
RE: The new world order
By bah12 on 9/2/2011 10:48:11 AM , Rating: 3
How is it supposed to work smarty pants? Business A needs to open several warehouses and hire 7K employees. Business A's model dictates they can do this in several different states. Are you honestly suggesting that Business A choose the more costly state to operate in purely out of the kindness of their heart?

They aren't saying do this or no jobs, rather do this or no jobs in YOUR state. Amazon isn't creating 7K jobs because it wants to pay 7K people to do nothing, these jobs will be created either way just not in CA. Face reality CA is expensive to operate in, and their legislature needs to pull it's head out of its ass or they will continue to loose businesses to more business friendly states.


RE: The new world order
By FITCamaro on 9/2/2011 10:54:15 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. However I think eventually all states will require the collection of sales tax from internet sites.

Internet stores do have an unfair advantage. Both lower overhead which results in lower prices as well as not collecting sales tax unless you live in a state where they have a presence.


RE: The new world order
By TheMan876 on 9/2/2011 11:33:26 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
Internet stores do have an unfair advantage.


Or maybe B&M stores have an unfair advantage. They have a local presence and are too convenient for people to drive by on their way home from work and buy things. We should legislate some changes to make it harder for them.


RE: The new world order
By kmmatney on 9/2/2011 11:41:14 AM , Rating: 2
For me personally, I only buy small stuff locally. For more expensive items, I buy online just to avoid the tax. The state governments are losing several hundred dollars a year from me alone, and I'm sure there are more people like me.


RE: The new world order
By YashBudini on 9/2/2011 12:06:22 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
The state governments are losing several hundred dollars a year from me alone, and I'm sure there are more people like me.

So much for ethics.

States compensate for such behavior by raising sales tax rates. The very people who bypassed the sales tax laws end up complaining the most.

Pray you never end up on Medicaid when you're old (almost impossible for a huge number of middle class retirees over the long haul). Research where such funding comes from in your state. Odds are sales tax revenue plays a major role.


RE: The new world order
By OS on 9/2/2011 12:36:51 PM , Rating: 2
medicare/medicaid are dead long term anyways just from projected change in demographics


RE: The new world order
By Kurz on 9/2/2011 1:00:35 PM , Rating: 3
The entitlement System is completely BS anyway.
Government has long since left its intended role.


RE: The new world order
By YashBudini on 9/2/2011 4:16:26 PM , Rating: 3
Gee I paid into that system. I never got anything for free.


RE: The new world order
By rameshms on 9/2/2011 1:49:43 PM , Rating: 4
I already pay several thousands in property tax (live in bay area).. I don't see the state govt do anything special to my area. Roads are still poor, traffic jams everywhere, my local school still begs for money from parents for various things. The govt is just another business trying to swindle money from locals, mismanaging funds, trying to save themselves from bankruptcy.
What is the motivation for me to give the more money to the govt ? I'm starting to feel CA is not the place to be in and move to some other state where the money given to govt is put to better use..


RE: The new world order
By FITCamaro on 9/2/2011 2:22:51 PM , Rating: 2
So either move or work to elect better officials who will get rid of wasteful spending on people who contribute nothing (illegals) and other crap.

This is why I refuse to live in Kalifornia.


RE: The new world order
By YashBudini on 9/2/2011 11:05:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
people who contribute nothing (illegals)

But why aren't the white people who hire the illegals ever arrested? Because the illegals are "contributing" to the wealth of their illegal employers? Even if they weren't arrested they could shame them on TV, but no apparently it's OK.

</double standard>


RE: The new world order
By Spuke on 9/3/2011 12:01:09 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
But why aren't the white people who hire the illegals ever arrested?
I would LOVE it if they were fined (hiring illegals results in a massive fine...no jail time)!! Actually, there is a bill in the works that will give nannies, babysitters, and housekeepers certain "rights". Like, a paycheck, breaks, clocking in/out like a regular job, etc. A lot of stuff was stripped out. The govt originally wanted paid vacations and sick time for example. I was against this at first but now I'm for it. All of these illegals are hired into these positions because they're cheap. If you remove the reason for hiring them, you effectively stop them from being hired. If there are no jobs, they will stop coming here. Problem solved!


RE: The new world order
By YashBudini on 9/3/2011 12:09:13 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If there are no jobs, they will stop coming here.

The women would still come here so that their newborns are citizens, but it should put a dent in the number of men who come here.


RE: The new world order
By FITCamaro on 9/3/2011 12:06:59 AM , Rating: 2
I personally would love it if they were fined and then thrown in jail for multiple offenses.

When I was in college, the city of Palm Bay tried to pass a law that said that businesses caught hiring illegals would be fined and after a second offense would lose their license. Of course it was thrown out after hispanic groups threatened to sue for reasons of racism. The city should have stuck to its guns.


RE: The new world order
By YashBudini on 9/3/2011 12:15:49 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Of course it was thrown out after hispanic groups threatened to sue for reasons of racism.

Wha? You don't also have Asian food places full of illegal Asians? Ironically it's the lawsuit itself that sounds racist here.

We had such an Asian restaurant raided and closed here a couple of years ago. Of course they were open and fully employed a week later.

OT - You know that sign in the bathroom about washing your hands before leaving? They can't print that in enough languages for my tastes.


RE: The new world order
By FITCamaro on 9/2/2011 2:15:17 PM , Rating: 2
Don't act like I'm looking forward to the end of tax free shopping.

But in the end, it is harming local communities. Sales taxes pay for roads, schools, police, firemen, etc. And states shouldn't rely on the federal government to make up for that because it isn't the federal government's job.

So either you have to raise the sales tax for those who do pay it, increase property taxes which potentially drive people out of their homes, or make it so that everyone pays the tax.


RE: The new world order
By Spuke on 9/2/2011 2:38:13 PM , Rating: 2
CA says that $317 million a year was estimated to be collected from that new law. We're 10 billion in debt. In all honesty, my only issue is how does CA collect sales tax from out of state B&M's? If we're to be "fair", out of state B&M's need to collect CA or any other states sales tax and return that amount to the state of the persons residence PLUS collect sales tax for their own states.


RE: The new world order
By YashBudini on 9/2/2011 5:53:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But in the end, it is harming local communities. Sales taxes pay for roads, schools, police, firemen, etc. And states shouldn't rely on the federal government to make up for that because it isn't the federal government's job.

Exactly, which is why I pay sales tax on my 'Net purchases. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I like it, but I did use the pesky E word, didn't I?


RE: The new world order
By rage33 on 9/2/2011 11:44:30 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Internet stores do have an unfair advantage. Both lower overhead which results in lower prices as well as not collecting sales tax unless you live in a state where they have a presence.


Yes, but B&M stores have an advantage too. If I need something now, I have to a store. If I want to look at a product, I have to go to the store. Isn't there some unwritten sales rule out there which states the first thing a salesperson needs to do is get a product into the consumer's hands? I have to worry about shipping. If I have a dispute with an online retailer, some can be much more difficult to deal with. Returns and refunds can be much easier handled at a store. If it's a big ticket item (think big screen TV), electronics stores have a nice advantage of being able to display them for you to try and a better route to fix something if something goes wrong.


RE: The new world order
By bah12 on 9/2/2011 11:47:41 AM , Rating: 2
I totally agree that they do, and the argument that it is too hard, is complete BS. Maybe it could get cumbersome to collect county/city taxes, but at the state level it is a pretty straight forward process not unlike paying payroll/unemployment taxes in different states. Some even have county requirements as well.

I understand the constitutional issues, but I also don't think the founding fathers would have envisioned the ease of interstate commerce that we are experiencing now.

Of course you and I both know it's rarely a tax revenue issue, and almost certainly a spending issue. If CA spent more reasonably chances are it wouldn't even need a sales tax at all (after all they already have income tax).


RE: The new world order
By YashBudini on 9/2/2011 12:00:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If CA spent more reasonably chances are it wouldn't even need a sales tax at all

Why single out any state for this? How many states have both?


RE: The new world order
By bah12 on 9/2/2011 12:12:07 PM , Rating: 2
Because it was the topic of the article, of course every high tax issue at any level of government is probably more of a spending issue, was my point. Not just CA, federal, and any taxing authority. If they did a better job of spending, taxation would not be getting out of hand.


RE: The new world order
By AssBall on 9/2/2011 12:27:51 PM , Rating: 2
California is both one of the most deeply indebted states. They grow money on trees there so I've heard.


RE: The new world order
By YashBudini on 9/2/2011 6:59:16 PM , Rating: 2
I never considered the possibility that money was a citrus fruit.


RE: The new world order
By quiksilvr on 9/2/2011 12:49:38 PM , Rating: 2
Nothing is stopping them from creating their own online environment and shutting down their stores. And it isn't like online stores don't pay taxes elsewhere.


RE: The new world order
By YashBudini on 9/2/2011 11:48:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
where companies hold "jobs" hostage for ransom.

http://www.epi.org/economic_snapshots/entry/corpor...

Its only a matter of time before those jobs disappear anyway. Face it, these "citizens" won't be happy until they pay no taxes to anyone.


RE: The new world order
By Kurz on 9/2/2011 1:02:28 PM , Rating: 2
We have some of the highest Corporate Tax rates in the world. How can businesses compete?


RE: The new world order
By YashBudini on 9/2/2011 4:03:48 PM , Rating: 2
Like GE? And no mention of corporate subsidies, AKA corporate welfare?

Tax rates are one thing, what happens after the tax accountants get a hold of it is something else.

Honestly corporations is Europe aren't anywhere near as whiny, or employ as many lobbyists.


RE: The new world order
By Spuke on 9/3/2011 12:11:38 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Honestly corporations is Europe aren't anywhere near as whiny, or employ as many lobbyists.
They don't have to whine, they just simply raise prices. Problem solved! LOL!


RE: The new world order
By YashBudini on 9/3/2011 12:24:07 AM , Rating: 2
Well they can, but then others can increase cheaper imports, even from us.

And they do.


RE: The new world order
By nocturne_81 on 9/3/2011 7:33:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We have some of the highest Corporate Tax rates in the world. How can businesses compete?


Seriously...? I mean.. come on.. seriously..?

How about some supporting info on this, not including third world countries or artificially managed economies like China...

Keep in mind that we haven't slipped so far from the top.. I still think we're sitting pretty with the world's largest GDP and many more protections under law not granted to our 'competitors'.


RE: The new world order
By YashBudini on 9/3/2011 8:13:29 PM , Rating: 2
Well he certainly won't be posting this:

http://www.reclaimdemocracy.org/corporate_welfare/...

Honestly the pro-corporates would expect you to believe that the "tax rates" are actually collected. Like this:
quote:
Google 2.4% Rate Shows How $60 Billion Lost to Tax Loopholes

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-21/google-2-...

And of course you never see this one:
http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/69xx/doc6902/11-28-Corp...

As a percentage of GDP we're one of the lowest in the world.

Fortunately not all of us are willing to simply parrot what others want us to parrot.


RE: The new world order
By Spuke on 9/2/2011 12:07:00 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Welcome to the new America, where companies hold "jobs" hostage for ransom.
Welcome to the new America, where state governments can just keep spending and spending and spending, run out of money, kick tax paying businesses and citizens out, raise taxes on the rest, then continue spending and spending and spending. Wash, rinse, repeat.


RE: The new world order
By MonkeyPaw on 9/2/2011 1:09:30 PM , Rating: 2
Oh spare me the Evil Corporation nonsense. At least Amazon can run a balanced budget, something our goverments can't do. Businesses aren't perfect, but I agree with Amazon on this one. Why should I pay sales tax in CA when I make a purchase from 2000 miles away? I didn't burden CA one bit. Online stores not only pay a bunch of other taxes, but so do their employees that do live there, and so do the shipping companies that make online stores work in the first place. Really, why should amazon care about sales tax, it just gets passed on to the customer. Maybe, just maybe they realize that the government isn't entitled to tax us at every turn.

I say if online stores are made to tax me, then charge my local sales tax and send the money to my local government. That way I at least get to have a say in how that money is wasted...er...spent.


RE: The new world order
By ipay on 9/2/2011 5:32:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I say if online stores are made to tax me, then charge my local sales tax and send the money to my local government. That way I at least get to have a say in how that money is wasted...er...spent.

Ah, I'm not 100% up to speed on this, but isn't that exactly what they are trying to do?

AIUI, California is creating a central state office to gather the money simply to make it more convenient for Amazon and others, so they don't have to send the money to 10,000 different places. But as soon as the money is received, it would then get send out to your local government just as a local sales tax stays there.


RE: The new world order
By borismkv on 9/2/2011 5:33:52 PM , Rating: 2
They're trying to collect CA taxes on people who make purchases from California. Not everywhere. But since Amazon has no actual direct employees and offices in Cally, they really shouldn't have to. I totally agree that this needs to be handled with federal law rather than state law. I wouldn't have any issues with a small federal sales tax, either. As long as it isn't the 23% you get stuck with in Europe.


RE: The new world order
By mmichii on 9/3/2011 1:40:20 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not ok with sales tax period. Government gets more than its fair share. They put themselves in this hole. Spend less, lower taxes, be accountable for the money you do collect.


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