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  (Source: csmonitor.com)
This amount is strictly for the September-December 2012 quarter

Some U.S. states -- like California -- are starting to see new revenue from sales tax on internet purchases from the likes of Amazon.

The California Board of Equalization said it made $96.4 million in sales tax on internet commerce from September-December 2012, which is the first full quarter that the state started collecting. This is good news for the California Department of Finance, which has a forecast budget goal of $107 million in new e-taxes for the fiscal year starting July 1, 2012.

While these numbers look great for the state of California, they're a bit off from the estimates provided by a 2009 University of Tennessee study that said California would make $1.9 billion in 2012 revenue if it collected online sales tax. It also said states would miss out on $11.4 billion in 2012 revenue nationwide if they failed to collect online sales tax.

As of right now, Amazon collects sales tax in nine states (including California) and will collect in seven more over the next year.

Georgia is one the most recent to collect online sales tax. Amazon started collecting sales tax in Texas in July 2012, and California and Pennsylvania in September 2012.

Amazon has been fighting states that force it to collect sales tax for years (except in Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Dakota and Washington). The e-tailer fled many states that attempted to force tax collection on the company, such as California and Illinois. 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, the issue swelled.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said many times that his company would agree to collect taxes if there were some sort of federal legislation.

But eventually, Amazon finally broke down and started collecting sales tax in certain states, which allowed it to build more distribution centers within those states. For instance, Amazon announced that it would collect sales tax in New Jersey last May so that two Amazon distribution centers could be built. This led to faster shipping for customers, such as Amazon's same-day delivery program, making it more competitive than ever.

But earlier this month, Amazon and Overstock.com challenged a New York law passed in 2008, which forces companies with affiliates within the state to collect sales tax. However, Amazon said this law is unconstitutional because a 1992 Supreme Court decision said retailers that don't have a nexus of operation in a state does not need to collect sales tax. While New York said that websites with purchase buttons for Amazon as well as other national retailers are local solicitors because they receive fees for doing so, Amazon said argued that web referrals are less like solicitors or a local sales force and are more like advertising. 

Source: Reuters



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RE: Why the difference?
By Keeir on 2/20/2013 8:17:43 PM , Rating: 0
quote:
Here we are in the worst economy of our time, people all over are hurting, and you're actually cheering for millions and even billions more dollars being fleeced from the citizens?


What?

You do realize that the government does need to be funded.

That the people of California have a choice on thier local tax rates.

Maybe by collection the taxes agree upon through multiple election cycles will reduce the need to pass more taxes or pass debt on to the Federal Government, while at the same time providing less incentive to pass retailing dollars out of state.

This is a win for everyone involved IMO. Though I am sad internet tax holidays are comming to an end.


RE: Why the difference?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/20/2013 8:23:36 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
You do realize that the government does need to be funded.


Right and clearly California needs more funding.

Are you freaking serious? There are entire countries out there that are being run for what California claims they need in revenue!

Why do these discussions always go this way? Just for once, ONCE, it would be so awesome if budgetary responsibility and government bloat were included. But nope, anyone who questions Government waste is just so nutjob who doesn't want Governments to have "any funding". Seriously???

quote:
This is a win for everyone involved IMO.


No. Wrong, infinitely. Nobody EVER wins when taxes go up, only Governments win.

quote:
Though I am sad internet tax holidays are comming to an end.


You mean those holidays where economic activity explodes from consumer spending? Well clearly those were evil, so they had to go...


RE: Why the difference?
By Keeir on 2/20/2013 9:04:07 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
No. Wrong, infinitely. Nobody EVER wins when taxes go up, only Governments win


Except the Taxes did not go up.

Current Tax Law is finally being fairly enforced.

Amazon, a company mainly from the Seattle Area, probably shouldn't be getting a subsidy from the State of California to sell products to Californians. (Forgiveness from collecting State Sales tax allows Amazon to sell for less or sell more that competing California businesses)

You arguement -might- have some merit if 95% of the things sold by Amazon/other retailers is not available locally.

But if you local economy is hurting then the last thing you need to be doing as a State is leveling taxes (in addition to the ridicolus laws and minimum wage rules) on your local business but not the very large businesses from out of state.

Tax forgiveness from levels pre-established by laws is a form of spending. It maybe the most effective economic stimilus spending the government can do... but for California to spend economic stimilus money to benefit other states is just plain dumb.


RE: Why the difference?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/20/2013 9:27:51 PM , Rating: 3
Okay well you're obviously just a shill for this kind of garbage, so I wont waste my time further.

Mark my words, nothing will change from this. Big box stores won't see some miraculous explosion of profits, California won't pull itself out of the hole it's in, "fairness" doesn't have a damn thing to do with this.

The only thing that's changed is the people are being squeezed, yet again, for just that little bit more. And you can use all the mental gymnastics you want to use, but when the Government passes a bill that directly leads to less money in your pocket, that's a tax increase.


RE: Why the difference?
By Rad T on 2/21/2013 3:44:45 AM , Rating: 2
Nothing has changed. The sales tax is now collected by Amazon. Up until recently, you were supposed to pay the same amount to the state as use tax. Or were you not paying the use tax?


RE: Why the difference?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/21/2013 8:39:52 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The sales tax is now collected by Amazon.


Which has a long precedent in the Courts of being illegal and Unconstitutional. You cannot force an online retailer to collect sales taxes for you. And make no mistake, it's a sales tax. "Use" tax is a bunch of BS made up to get around the law.

quote:
Or were you not paying the use tax?


Of course I don't. Nobody does!

http://www.fiscalaccountability.org/?content=COGD1...


RE: Why the difference?
By Rukkian on 2/21/2013 10:33:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Of course I don't. Nobody does!


That is the problem - if people would pay what they are currently obligated to pay, this would not be an issue. Everybody only cares about what is in it for me. This change is simply enforcing current laws that nobody is following.

If you don't like how the government is run, then get elected and change it, get involved. If you don't think sales tax is, right, propose a new system. Show what cuts you would make. When people start starving to death, dying from not getting needed medication and medical help, and such, own up to it. Be big enough to say tough luck. Problem is, you will not be elected if that is your stance, and they all know it.

I don't live in California, and never will, but if you look at what they pay into the federal goverment, it might shed some light on why they are broke. They are paying for other states that live off the federal government. There are numerous states (coincidentally almost all of them are so called red states) that take quite a bit more from the federal government than they pay in, while also whining about how much they are paying in taxes.

If we cut the size of the goverment, many of these states would SOL, as they would not be given free money. Nobody wants that, cause then they would have to actually be responsible themselves.


RE: Why the difference?
By Rad T on 2/21/2013 1:35:18 PM , Rating: 1
It is neither illegal nor unconstitutional. Of course there some nuts that would claim any tax, including the federal income tax, is unconstitutional. I am sure that their challenges to the IRS have gone well... So if you are not paying the use tax, you are breaking the law. Tax collection elsewhere, including raised rates on everyone, has to make up the difference. This is unfair, the law-abiding citizens have to subsidize you in this way, and if anything, I hope that is one concept you might understand.


RE: Why the difference?
By Schrag4 on 2/21/2013 1:36:47 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Tax forgiveness from levels pre-established by laws is a form of spending. It maybe the most effective economic stimilus spending the government can do... but for California to spend economic stimilus money to benefit other states is just plain dumb.


I'm sorry but letting people keep their money is not a form of spending. That would be like calling getting laid-off a huge spending spree. Are you one of those people that defines a reduction in the growth of government as a "spending cut" too?


RE: Why the difference?
By Keeir on 2/21/2013 5:12:49 AM , Rating: 2
How about the EV tax credit? Government spending?

Can't have it both ways.


RE: Why the difference?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/21/2013 8:28:37 AM , Rating: 2
You have to understand that this is how politicians and Left leaning people view taxes and budgets. It's almost as if they believe the Government owns all your income, they just decide how much of it you should keep. That's the only mindset that could possibly lead to the thought that taxes being kept the same, or even cut, is somehow Government "spending".


RE: Why the difference?
By Solandri on 2/21/2013 2:22:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Current Tax Law is finally being fairly enforced.

How do you figure that?

The state of things prior to Amazon collecting sales tax in California was fair:

- Someone in California buys from California - California collects sales tax.
- Someone in Washington buys from Washington - Washington collects sales tax.
and
- Someone in California buys from Washington - no sales tax collected.
- Someone in Washington buys from California - no sales tax collected.

Now the last two cases are changed to:
- Someone in California buys from Washington - California collects sales tax.
- Someone in Washington buys from California - no sales tax collected.

That's unfair.
quote:
Amazon, a company mainly from the Seattle Area, probably shouldn't be getting a subsidy from the State of California to sell products to Californians. (Forgiveness from collecting State Sales tax allows Amazon to sell for less or sell more that competing California businesses)

This is horribly wrong and backwards thinking.

Amazon was never getting a subsidy from California. Amazon's online sales didn't have an unfair advantage over California retailers. California deliberately put its own retailers at an unfair disadvantage by forcing them to collect a very high sales tax.

If they truly want to make things fairer for their retailers, they have the power to do so right now without running afoul of the interstate commerce clause. Abolish the state sales tax. Simple as that.

Shift the tax revenue to other taxes like income tax. Whether you take the money from the people when they first make it or when they spend it is immaterial - the people are out the same amount of money either way, and the state gets the same amount of money either way.


RE: Why the difference?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/21/2013 8:36:40 PM , Rating: 2
A +6 post!


RE: Why the difference?
By tng on 2/20/2013 11:34:40 PM , Rating: 2
Really this is not a win for California. After living here for the last 25 years (even 5 years in Sacramento), give another 1 million or 100 billion and the state government here will only want more.

As a matter of fact, I really feel that this money as a new income source for the state could go to pay down the 20 billion in debt that our leadership has ran up, but instead the sad reality is that it will get wasted.


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