California Grabs $96.4 Million in First Round of Online Sales Tax Collection
February 20, 2013 7:11 PM
comment(s) - last by
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
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.
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RE: Why the difference?
2/21/2013 8:53:42 AM
Well, with all due respect, some points:
1) Government collects money (fees, taxes) and provides services which those very same people you're talking about getting "fleeced" make use of.
2) Yes some is wasted, that's unavoidable bureaucratic inefficiency. Excusable? No. Unavoidable? Normally.
3) Yes some is wasted through fraud. Again, usually the very same people whom it's collected from.
So don't berate the government alone for taking the money and 'wasting' it. They're providing services that the people of their particular geographic area demand and yet seem to suffer under the delusion that
they shouldn't have to pay for it
in the way of taxes.
"I want it, but I don't want to pay for it", closely related to the "I want it, but I want someone ELSE to pay for it" mentality.
And don't slam those people who believe in cutting down government spending with an axe. Those who think that government should be able to do everything are living under that very same delusion even if you're not one of those who make extensive use of the services offered. Government have no real incentive to do thing efficiently, just take a look at how many governments have no mandates to have balanced budgets in their ordinances or laws.
RE: Why the difference?
2/21/2013 12:18:37 PM
No, no, no.
Government takes money from some people and than gives it to OTHERS. As in, for example, incredlbly generous retirement packages for a portion of the population.
Not fair and ultimately not sustainable. I once lived in SoCal when it was smaller and efficiently (and fairly) run. I will never go back. Never.
Well, okay, maybe just to drop in for a short time in order to have a Double-Double with grilled onions at In-n-Out.
RE: Why the difference?
2/21/2013 2:32:27 PM
In-N-Out now has locations in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Texas.
RE: Why the difference?
2/21/2013 2:32:51 PM
Another Marxist shill.
No bill, I don't "demand" that my neighbor get subsidized housing at my expense.
I don't "demand" they get free food at my expense.
I don't "demand" their rugrat kids get free lunch.
I don't "demand" the head of the local transit agency in my city make over 400k per year.
I don't "demand" the mayor's chief of staff make 250k per year.
I don't "demand" the county administrator in my county make 230k per year.
I don't "demand" lavish pensions for unionized government employees.
I don't "demand" freebies for every illegal alien who crosses the border.
I don't "demand" California's heavily litigious environmental radicalism.
I don't "demand" more library hours, when those institutions are mostly obsolete.
I don't "demand" in home supportive care services where a grandkid now becomes a unionized employee and gets paid to take care of his grandmother, like he should have been doing in the first place.
I don't "demand" any of that, and I'm sick and tired of Marxist government worshipers like yourself claiming that I do.
I will berate the out of control government.
"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
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