Print 62 comment(s) - last by laviathan05.. on Mar 1 at 4:50 PM

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 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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By Reclaimer77 on 2/20/2013 7:49:10 PM , Rating: 4
Now you can increase your spending by $100+ million and in a few years claim another "budget crisis" - translation: we can't budget for shit.

RE: Grats!
By ritualm on 2/20/13, Rating: -1
RE: Grats!
By Reclaimer77 on 2/20/2013 9:18:23 PM , Rating: 3
Care to tell us how you'd run budgets if you were the governor of the Sunshine State?

I would secretly order the National Guard to place the entire state's explosive inventory on the San Andrea fault-line, and the do the rest of the world a favor.

Also, care to tell us which government in the world has a positive balance sheet i.e. zero debt?

Brilliant logic there...

RE: Grats!
By laviathan05 on 2/20/2013 9:56:06 PM , Rating: 5
Also, care to tell us which government in the world has a positive balance sheet i.e. zero debt?

Norway, Korea, Switzerland, Sweden

Some of the world's strongest economies.

USA is the worst by the way. However, even if we had a balanced budget, we would still issue debt due to the importance of US Treasuries in the global financial system.

RE: Grats!
By tng on 2/20/2013 11:41:51 PM , Rating: 2
There are some states that run a balanced budget (Utah and Alaska come to mind), but most are not taken seriously by people in states like CA or NY who are seriously in debt.

RE: Grats!
By ClownPuncher on 2/21/2013 2:13:51 PM , Rating: 2
States like CA and NY help subsidize the Federal funding for states like AK. I'm not at all defending CA or NY, just poiting out that AK is a state that takes in more dollars than it pays "back".

RE: Grats!
By Solandri on 2/21/2013 6:45:10 PM , Rating: 2
That's almost entirely due to the progressive income tax. If you tax rich people at higher tax rates, then states with a bigger percentage of rich people pay more taxes than they receive federal funding. States with a bigger percentage of poor people receive more than they pay out.

If the poorer states tend to be conservative and are telling you they don't want the social welfare money, while the richer states tend to be liberal and say they want to give more social welfare money, and the liberals control the government and get their way, you can't really blame conservatives for the way the numbers work out.

RE: Grats!
By ClownPuncher on 2/21/2013 7:59:03 PM , Rating: 2
I wasn't blaming, just adding another detail. Alaska is a bit of a special case when you talk about taxes and revenue.

Like I said, I do not defend CA or NY. I wouldn't live in either state.

RE: Grats!
By tng on 2/22/2013 8:23:08 AM , Rating: 2
Well, I was only talking about the state finances, CA and NY are running horrible debt on a statewide level. Since I spend time in both I notice that many people in both states will tell you about how backward places like Utah are, yet ignore all the stupidity in their own backyard.

RE: Grats!
By talikarni on 2/22/2013 1:38:02 PM , Rating: 2
States like CA and NY help subsidize the Federal funding for states like AK. I'm not at all defending CA or NY, just poiting out that AK is a state that takes in more dollars than it pays "back".

That is factually false. States like CA and NY actually receive a LOT more total federal funding than they pay out. The issue comes in that many sources only show "per capita" or "per resident" which makes it look like AK gets all these massive funds. When you look at the amounts actually received per state regardless of population, CA tops the charts with over $300 Billion per year. Compare that with the "#2 per capita" state of VA that received $136 Billion, less than half that of CA. When it comes to total amount actually received, AK is actually one of the lowest with an average less than $5 Billion received per year.

When it comes to AK: due to its size, most of the federal funding is not for the people but actually maintaining and protecting its massive swaths of undeveloped pristine natural lands, that really have very little impact good or bad to or from the people, and is unable to pay anything back in the process. Money received in AK actually goes towards its designated target, unlike most blue states.
Reid has managed to get the same kind of funding to protect the deserts of Nevada, which he then routes to big corporate interests in Vegas and Reno.

If you look at the voting map, typical "blue" states tend to receive in the range of 30-50% more than "red" states, looking at overall funding amount, not "per capita" or "per resident" amounts.

RE: Grats!
By Howard on 2/21/2013 12:42:13 AM , Rating: 2
Don't forget Hong Kong.

RE: Grats!
By imaheadcase on 2/21/2013 7:21:44 AM , Rating: 3
I believe Germany just reached that goal as well.

RE: Grats!
By tayb on 2/21/2013 9:15:32 AM , Rating: 5
The US isn't the worst and it isn't even close. It's certainly a fun narrative to tell especially if you are in the business of drumming up support through fear.

Countries/Regions with a higher public debt as a percentage of GDP:

European Union
United Kingdom

There are some strong economies there, especially Germany. There isn't even enough data to support a strong correlation between debt and economic performance. Too many outliers.

Also, Norway has debt. South Korea has debt. Switzerland has debt. Sweden has debt. Essentially every aspect of your post is inaccurate.

RE: Grats!
By Solandri on 2/21/2013 1:32:51 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, it's a lot more complex than debt is good/bad. You'd think the ideal case is to have no debt. But if you can borrow money cheaply (like you can right now with historically low interest rates), the ideal case is actually to rack up huge amounts of debt. The presumption is that the money you borrow can be used to increase your productivity above and beyond the interest you're paying, making it a net win. (In personal finance terms, it's like borrowing $100k from a bank which agrees to loan it to you at 1% interest, and putting the money into a CD which pays 3% interest. Yes you've picked up $100k in debt, but you're gaining a net 2% interest on it, making the debt a good deal.)

But in terms of raw debt figures, Japan is by far the worst off (government debt is over 2x GDP). They just haven't collapsed like Greece because the people are incredibly disciplined and hard working, and not prone to rioting. So lenders seen as much more likely to repay their debt, and don't panic at them being over 200% debt-to-income ratio.

Most of the big countries with little debt are oil-producing nations. Which should tell you something about where our economic priorities should lie.

RE: Grats!
By PontiusP on 2/21/2013 1:52:13 PM , Rating: 2
"Yeah, it's a lot more complex than debt is good/bad."

Actually, it's a bit more complex than you described. In the current world monetary system, getting out of debt is not an option. Money is a function of debt. All of the money in the world is borrowed into existence and is extinguished when it's paid off. That is, money == debt. No debt, no money. The interest the world pays is for the privilege of having the money to trade with in the first place.

It's a concept that is so prevalent, yet so few seem to grasp, even as evidenced on a message board like this with above average intelligence posters. I strongly advise watching the documentaries Money As Debt, parts I and II. They convey the concept in a straightforward manner.

Unless you are talking about monetary reform (which IMHO is *the* issue of our times), then you are not seriously considering getting out of debt. Under the current system, being debt free is a physical and mathematical impossibility.

RE: Grats!
By Solandri on 2/21/2013 2:00:05 PM , Rating: 2
In the current world monetary system, getting out of debt is not an option. Money is a function of debt. All of the money in the world is borrowed into existence and is extinguished when it's paid off.

That's not really a fair characterization of how it works.

Money is a representation of productivity. When productivity increases (via technological improvements or better distribution of goods - e.g. dairy farmer and apple farmer agree to swap milk for apples), the money supply has to be increased to keep its representation proportional to actual productivity. You increase the money supply by issuing debt, which creates more money.

Unfortunately, governments have figured out that they can create the appearance of increased productivity by increasing debt. This results in increased inflation (money is worth less). In strictly neutral terms, money is still a representation of productivity, it's just that the ratio of dollars to a fixed unit of productivity has changed.

RE: Grats!
By PontiusP on 2/21/2013 2:11:13 PM , Rating: 2

I think you are on the right track:

"You increase the money supply by issuing debt, which creates more money."

I understand how debt issuance works, and obviously so do you. Ditto for inflation.

But my problem with the current system is that money cannot exist without debt. I would prefer that money be a representation of value, for the productivity you mentioned, rather than being a liability that must be paid off. Remember, when it's paid off, it's extinguished. True, value-based money would exist perpetually, it would simply be "there" forever. Could you imagine the productivity and stability we'd see if the entire world wasn't continually obsessing over, and dedicating futile effort to, its debt burden?

I stand by my original point, no debt == no money. We need serious monetary reform. Give those documentaries I mentioned a try, it'll help explain.

RE: Grats!
By Felthis on 2/22/2013 9:30:36 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Grats!
By laviathan05 on 3/1/2013 4:50:17 PM , Rating: 2
Actually the U.S. is the worst in terms of current annual budget deficit as a percentage of GDP, which is what was being discussed. Total debt is a different story, and I never said the U.S. had the most total debt in terms of GDP. You should probably improve your reading comprehension skills.

RE: Grats!
By chµck on 2/20/2013 11:01:51 PM , Rating: 3
Libya had a positive balance until the US killed Gaddafi and the world banks froze their $300 billion surplus.

RE: Grats!
By ppardee on 2/21/2013 12:15:42 PM , Rating: 2
Its probably important to note that Libyans killed Gaddafi, not the US. He was captured by Libyans, then shot by a mob of Libyans. It is true that the US had too much involvement in the process, but we're only in the business of assassinating people that are politically valuable targets. If it doesn't get votes for the party that does the killing, they aren't going to waste the jet fuel.

RE: Grats!
By Omega215D on 2/20/2013 11:51:11 PM , Rating: 2
Hmm... I think you mean Golden State, Sunshine is Florida.

Anyway... I foresee California pissing away a good chunk of this cash flow. So far San Diego was the only city to actually put itself out of debt (or at least for the most part). It's the only city I considered working LEO in.

RE: Grats!
By Solandri on 2/21/2013 1:38:38 PM , Rating: 2
Anyway... I foresee California pissing away a good chunk of this cash flow.

The state has run a deficit for as long as I can remember. In other words, it has already pissed away this cash flow.

RE: Grats!
By bobcpg on 2/21/2013 12:28:33 AM , Rating: 2

We run a balanced budget because its in our constitution.

Pretty simple. Yeah tough choices have to be made but that's how it should be.

RE: Grats!
By ebakke on 2/21/2013 2:18:41 AM , Rating: 5
MN isn't exactly a shining star. We don't make any tough choices here. We just kick the can down the road. Telling someone "I'll pay you tomorrow instead of today" isn't balancing a budget. And borrowing against future tobacco settlement payments doesn't make the tough choices on what the role of government should be and how we'll then fund such a beast.

RE: Grats!
By Schrag4 on 2/21/2013 1:23:45 AM , Rating: 2
Also, care to tell us which government in the world has a positive balance sheet i.e. zero debt?

Which government in the world? There are many small/local governments (cities, counties, even a few states) that are doing just fine from a budget perspective. Are you really trying to excuse California because you think it's impossible for any government to spend less than the tax revenue it collects? Or did you really have no point at all?

RE: Grats!
By Reclaimer77 on 2/21/2013 8:32:38 AM , Rating: 2
Are you really trying to excuse California because you think it's impossible for any government to spend less than the tax revenue it collects? Or did you really have no point at all?

Either option isn't really a firm point to stand on. Which is why I didn't even bother to dignify it with a rebuttal.

RE: Grats!
By GotThumbs on 2/21/2013 12:03:45 PM , Rating: 1
I do it every day. I spend less than my income. I put money into savings for a rainy day when it's needed. I put money into my retirement account since I'm not stupid enough to think SS will be around or even sufficient to live off of.

Millions of SELF-RESPONSIBLE/SELF-RELIANT Americans live within their means every day. It can be done and we SHOULD expect our government to do the same.

Step 1: Start by sending less of OUR tax dollars beyond our boarders. $1.5 Billion is going just to Egypt this year. They just received 20 F-16 jets as part of the "Gift".

Charity begins at home first. Once all your responsibilities are met...then AND only then should you help others IMO.

RE: Grats!
By Solandri on 2/21/2013 1:52:27 PM , Rating: 2
The fixed annual income vs expenses model for personal finances doesn't really apply when you get up to government or even corporate levels of income and expenses. When you're talking about economies that large, the old adage "you have to spend money to make money" on average prevails. Yes you can balance your budget by cutting spending, but frequently the better way for a company to get back into the black is by increasing spending. You just need to increase it in a way which results in increased sales. And if you do it right, the increase in sales revenue will exceed the increase in spending, resulting in a net reduction in debt.

Unfortunately, our government is pretty bad about spending money in ways which increase revenue (productivity). If social programs truly were a safety net, they'd increase productivity (by preventing people from falling off the cliff and becoming homeless non-productive members of society). But arguably they've become a way of life for a large segment of the population, thus representing a net drain (my personal opinion is we need a lifetime limit on how much you can get in social benefits). Likewise, aside from tangential technological improvements like GPS, defense spending isn't really productive unless you're actually fighting someone with all that military hardware you're buying.

RE: Grats!
By PontiusP on 2/21/2013 2:19:32 PM , Rating: 2
"Unfortunately, our government is pretty bad about spending money in ways which increase revenue (productivity)."

You hit the nail on the head. It is for that exact reason that I nearly puke every time I hear someone parrot the narrative that government spending will create jobs. Sure, they occasionally do something good, like infrastructure. But as you mentioned, the bulk of it goes to welfare/warfare/lawsuits/tax compliance which is a complete squandering of the nation's productive resources. The government cannot allocate resources better than the market. If they could, there'd be no need for a market economy.

Governments need to understand they cannot spend their way out of debt.

RE: Grats!
By PontiusP on 2/21/2013 2:03:10 PM , Rating: 2

From the sound of your post, you don't live in California, so you don't know what you're talking about. Guess what? I do, and I can assure you our state is filled with the dumbest voters in the nation, who in turn elect the dumbest legislators.

Promise them any sort of freebie at their neighbor's expense, and they will vote for you. Drag a kid in front of any initiative, and they'll support it. They vote 100% of the time based on raw emotion without ever considering the economic impact of anything they do. Then they turn around and wonder why our state is a mess. It has to be one of the worst run states in the country, trust me.

As far as what to do? Here are a few solutions (that you implicitly think aren't valid).

-Cut the pay of every state employee that makes more than the Governor down to his pay level. For example, the current head of the local transit agency in my city makes as much as the President. Most university heads are in that range also.

-California has 1/10 of the nation's population, but has 1/3 of the welfare cases. Eliminating the welfare state would balance the budget overnight.

-Full legalization of pot, and cease all wasteful and expensive law enforcement activities prosecuting it.

-Eliminate collective bargaining (unionization) of all public employees, as well as pensions for all new employees.

-Use the savings to take the debt to ZERO (ignore the propagandizing of Wall Street shills telling us some debt is good).

-Begin to reduce taxes back to a reasonable level and stop using the working people of the state as a financial punching bag.

The problem is with pseudo-intellectual, defeatist, nihilists like yourself who simply throw up their hands and act like there's nothing we can do. There are plenty of solutions, just no guts to try them out.

RE: Grats!
By half_duplex on 2/25/2013 7:53:33 PM , Rating: 2
Home run.

I love the "some debt is good" line. It's already been played a few times here, see the Wiki links above explaining why we are not smart enough to understand.

I guess some debt is good if you're the one collecting the interest.

And the 'California Board of Equalization'?!? That sounds just a lil creepy.

California is a nice place to be, but no nicer than Florida, and we don't pay a state income tax.

RE: Grats!
By PontiusP on 2/26/2013 5:51:51 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks half_duplex. I've never been to FLA, but have heard great things. A friend is moving there shortly, and I plan to go visit him and check things out. I'm seriously considering it as a new home. I'm done with this socialist third world welfare slum.

RE: Grats!
By EricMartello on 2/21/2013 8:36:58 AM , Rating: 1
Imagine the new economic growth this new revenue will stimulate when the california liberals start "investing" in solar panels, electric cars and self-fcuking vag1nas (to empower women with more of that 'out of the kitchen' independence).

RE: Grats!
By btc909 on 2/21/2013 3:09:09 PM , Rating: 2
Local & State governments were banking on Prop 30 passing, the so called "for the schools" proposition, total BS. Same with the online sales tax collection, this money will go to fund pension obligations and along with the "you owe us" "we took a cut on our increase" "we didn't get our COLA increase this year" this money will run out very quickly. The next scam being worked on in Kalifornia is to get rid of the Property Tax increase limits. Charge people 10-15K per year in Property Taxes and this state will become a ghost state.

Why the difference?
By taxcloud on 2/20/2013 7:44:36 PM , Rating: 1
I would guess that the reason California only received $96.4MM in the 4th quarter is because Amazon was the only online retailer that started collecting.

Imagine if eBay allowed their sellers to start collecting California sales tax - that number would more than double ! Then, if the rest of the retailers listed in the Internet Retailer 500 ( started collecting, you would likely be on pace to match or even exceed the University of Tennessee projections.

Alas, online remote retailers cannot be compelled to collect California sales tax unless (or until) Congress enacts the Marketplace Fairness Act S.336/HR.684 -

RE: Why the difference?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/20/2013 7:53:02 PM , Rating: 5
Don't you think the people need that money more than the greedy and irresponsible State of California?

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?

It's disgusting. It's wrong.

RE: Why the difference?
By Keeir on 2/20/13, Rating: 0
RE: Why the difference?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/20/2013 8:23:36 PM , Rating: 4
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???

This is a win for everyone involved IMO.

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

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
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
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.

Or were you not paying the use tax?

Of course I don't. Nobody does!

RE: Why the difference?
By Rukkian on 2/21/2013 10:33:48 AM , Rating: 2
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
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
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.
- 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.
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.

RE: Why the difference?
By bill.rookard on 2/21/2013 8:53:42 AM , Rating: 2
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?
By Dorkyman on 2/21/2013 12:18:37 PM , Rating: 2
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?
By Solandri on 2/21/2013 2:32:27 PM , Rating: 2
In-N-Out now has locations in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Texas.

RE: Why the difference?
By PontiusP on 2/21/2013 2:32:51 PM , Rating: 2
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.

RE: Why the difference?
By marvdmartian on 2/21/2013 8:42:47 AM , Rating: 2
Could just be that, once Amazon had to start taxing them, residents of that state found alternate online retailers that wouldn't tax them, and bought from them instead.

People aren't half as think as the politicians dumb they are!

It won't help...
By navair2 on 2/20/2013 7:32:45 PM , Rating: 2
California can increase their "revenue" all they won't help their debt situation one bit. As long as politicians continue to run things badly ( like they do here in Illinois ), then there is precious little that new taxes will accomplish IMO.

California has been the state with the highest taxes on many things for as long as I can remember, and I seriously doubt that will change in my lifetime.

Best wishes on getting that spending under control, though.

Does anyone else around here....
By espaghetti on 2/20/2013 8:42:43 PM , Rating: 2
...know why companies keep doing business in this ridiculous state?

This tax will not dent their deficit and they wouldn't care if it did.
This is simply their way of making everything "fair".

It doesn't matter.
By Rob94hawk on 2/21/2013 1:24:09 AM , Rating: 2
California is so far gone in debt between all the welfare recipients and anchor babies they would need all the taxes of all other 49 states.

By Beenthere on 2/21/2013 2:44:31 AM , Rating: 2
It's absolutely illegal to force e-tailers to collect state sales tax for states where they do not have a physical sales outlet. The states can spin all they want but eventually this will be taken to the Supreme Court where the states will lose. State sales tax is predicated on the sale actually transpiring within the boundries of the state.

For years states have been trying to extend by association, their basis for illegally generating revenues from people who purchase online from out of sales e-tailers, i.e out-of-state sales, NOT in-state-sales. Most people don't buy out-of-state to save a few dollars on sales tax, they buy out of state to get the best price, service and buy from e-tailers that have the specific item's they desire, available. The reason many people buy online is convenience, not to avoid sales-tax.

When state legislators earn their salaries and benefits, then I will start paying sales tax for items I buy online from out-of-state that are not under laws taxable. Any e-tailer that is required under law to charge state sales tax already does so. It's time to take this matter to the Supreme Court and force the states to stop double-dipping into the pockets of tax payers to fund fiscal mismanagment by state legislators.

Bad Buy's issues have nothing to do with sales tax, it has to do with poor product selection, corrupt customer service IME and bad management - the perfect storm that is putting them out of business.

Reason to Buy
By Ammohunt on 2/21/2013 11:45:21 AM , Rating: 2
I don't buy online to avoid paying taxes i buy online becasue 99% of the time Brick and Mortar doesn't have what i want. This whole discussion was moot for most of the 200+ years of our history i.e. mail order has been around forever. Now that the popularity of mail/online ordering has increased and the politicians in power have put our country in the poor house it all of a sudden becomes a fiscal crisis. One of two things need to happen either they need to eliminate entitlment spending or we as a people need to give all Local/State/Federal Governmnet an anema.

Some seemed to miss a key point
By StanO360 on 2/27/2013 5:19:32 PM , Rating: 2
Now, because of this Amazon is opening distribution centers in CA. Best Buy, Wal-Mart et al are now looking at Amazon with next day (possibly same day) delivery to a lot of California.

Go to BB (Amazon's showroom) scan the barcode, buy it, and it's delivered with free delivery! So much for "unfair" competition.

“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs

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