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  (Source: csmonitor.com)
The attorney general's office received a petition last Friday, which will require 434,000 voter signatures to qualify for the ballot

Amazon's stance on the collection of sales tax on goods sold over the internet has been clear from day one: it's not going to happen. But a new law in the state of California may change Amazon's mind real fast, or cause it to cut ties to the state.

In the recent past, we've seen the online retailer cut ties with states like Texas, where Texas State Comptroller Susan Combs charged Amazon $269 million in unpaid sales taxes, and Illinois, where Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced a bill called the Main Street Fairness Act, which would force Amazon to collect sales tax. 

Last month, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that would require websites that forward shoppers to Amazon to collect sales tax in California. The law is expected to generate $200 million in revenue, and prompted Amazon to threaten to leave California-based affiliates. 

Now, Amazon is asking California voters to repeal the new law. The attorney general's office received a petition last Friday, which will require 434,000 voter signatures to qualify for the ballot. The attorney general's office will put together a title and summary for the petition. 

Amazon has said that it does not have to collect sales tax because of a 1992 Supreme Court decision that excuses Amazon and other remote sellers from having to collect taxes in U.S. states that do not have the company's employees or warehouses operating within those states. But between states looking for ways to offset large financial deficits and brick-and-mortar stores like Best Buy complaining about Amazon being unfair competition, Amazon is being pushed between a rock and a hard place. 

Website operators are already feeling the effect of the new law. Ken Rockwell, who operates a photography site called www.kenrockwell.com in California, said online retailers have stopped doing business with him because of the new law. 

"I'm trying to figure out some other payment scheme," said Rockwell. "That business model went away. I've got to look for new business models." 

Currently, Amazon only collects sales tax in Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Dakota and Washington.



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RE: Tax for what?
By Solandri on 7/12/2011 4:43:18 PM , Rating: 2
California already has one of the highest state tax burdens in the country. They rank 11th out of the 50 states at $3154.06 per capita vs. a national average of $2493.45. And that's just the state - most California counties and cities also levy their own taxes. Normalizing for cost of living (personal income per capita) doesn't help their case either - they're still 12th out of 50 states at 7.39% vs. a national average of 6.7%.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_tax_levels

That they still have a huge budget shortfall (both in raw dollars and as a percent of total budget) should tell you that the tax structure and amount of tax revenue they're collecting is not their problem. They are already collecting far in excess of what most states need to maintain their infrastructure and services.
http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=711


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