Group seeks Amazon boycott over sales tax fight

Aug 15, 2011

(AP) -- A coalition of nonprofit groups is calling on customers of Amazon.com to cancel their accounts unless the Internet retailer stops resisting a California law that requires more online retailers to charge a state sales tax.

The along with several state lawmakers Monday called on Amazon to "stop cheating California" by trying to repeal the law through a ballot referendum.

Amazon's opponents announced a Web campaign intended to organize opposition efforts and explain how customers can close their accounts.

Amazon.com Inc. did not immediately respond to an email and a call for comment Monday.

Lawmakers in June approved a measure to expand collection of California sales tax to more , estimating it would bring in at least $200 million a year.

Amazon has spent $3 million fighting that law.

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More information: On the Web: http://www.ThinkBeforeYouClickCA.org

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User comments : 8

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dogbert
3.2 / 5 (6) Aug 15, 2011
A coalition of nonprofit groups is calling on customers of Amazon.com to cancel their accounts unless the Internet retailer stops resisting a California law that requires more online retailers to charge a state sales tax.


And who might these 'nonprofit groups' be?
semmsterr
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 15, 2011
A coalition of nonprofit groups is calling on customers of Amazon.com to cancel their accounts unless the Internet retailer stops resisting a California law that requires more online retailers to charge a state sales tax.


And who might these 'nonprofit groups' be?


...and why would I close my account, because I want my Amazon purchases to cost me more?
CasperIV
5 / 5 (2) Aug 15, 2011
So California makes a terrible legislative move, a company exercises their legal rights to leave the state, now they want a boycott? Lawmakers need to stop acting like spoiled children and fix the problems with their states rather than blaming everyone else.
abzu
not rated yet Aug 15, 2011
I missed the science in this one.
89118a
1 / 5 (2) Aug 16, 2011
Tax the owner not the consumer.
Magnette
not rated yet Aug 16, 2011
Is the tax still applicable if the purchase is not from within California? If, for instance, the purchaser lives in Nevada do they still pay? Not being from the U.S I have no idea how sales tax works there.

Perhaps if Amazon feel so strongly about it they should move across the state line?
dogbert
3 / 5 (4) Aug 16, 2011
Magnette,

The Supreme Court has ruled that states cannot require a company which does not have a physical presence in a state to collect sales taxes. A few states have decided that doing business with affiliates in a state constitutes a physical presence, which has resulted in Amazon dropping affiliation with businesses in those states. Some other states are being very friendly to Amazon, such as Tennessee, which has encouraged Amazon to build distribution centers while retaining the exemption from having to collect sales taxes.

California has basically said that it can require Amazon to collect sales taxes for sales to anyone residing in California despite the Supreme court ruling to the contrary. Amazon is refusing to collect the taxes based on the Supreme Court ruling and is seeking to get the California law overturned.

At issue is the extreme difficulty a business has of computing sales taxes to a state where it does not reside. Continued...
dogbert
3 / 5 (4) Aug 16, 2011
Magnette, continued ...

States which collect sales taxes have a state sales tax, county sales taxes and city/municipality sales taxes. If I have a business in Atlanta, GA., for example, I know what the state, county and city taxes are because I reside in that state, county and city. It is difficult for a business located in Washington to determine exactly where a purchaser lives and difficult to accurately determine what taxes that person must pay. The burden on the out of state business is onerous. It is particularly onerous if the out of state business is a small, start up business which does not have large resources.

The Supreme Court's ruling on the matter is a good and reasoned ruling.

If states like California should win their argument, the next logical step for online sellers would be to move their businesses outside the U.S. where they could not be required to collect sales taxes on any sales. This would cost the U.S. many jobs and much revenue.

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