Amazon's Petition Successful, California Voters Can Overturn Online Sales Tax Law

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TokyoRevelation

Is this really about sales tax revenue? California would have the 8th largest economy in the world if it was an independent country. Somehow I doubt that Amazon.com's sales tax contribution, although presumably substantial, would do much to solve CA's budget shortfall and spending issues. I think it's really about economic engineering.

I am opposed to any legislation that is based upon the concept that it is the government's responsibility to pick and choose which businesses succeed in the marketplace. The government should not be picking winners and losers, even if the loser happens to be a large multinational corporation. Instead, the government should be removing barriers for small businesses. Maybe if the overhead in CA due to excessively complicated labor laws and other ordinances was removed, small retailers in California might perform better, just a thought.

It's curious that as far as I've read, other states don't seem to be too worried about Amazon.com not collecting sales tax from customers: Texas, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Florida, Ohio, etc. What makes California's situation so unique that this is so controversial?

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TerribleToaster

 

"Instead, the government should be removing barriers for small businesses." 

Just want to point out that the biggest challenge to small businesses are large etailers like Amazon. 

"It's curious that as far as I've read, other states don't seem to be too worried about Amazon.com not collecting sales tax from customers: Texas, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Florida, Ohio, etc. What makes California's situation so unique that this is so controversial?"

Can't talk about all them but:

Texas is still locked up with Amazon because they weren't paying them sales tax even though they had a distribution center in Texas (that they shut down after they were sent the bill).

I don't know if anyone cares about New Jersey, no matter which part you come from (the Philadelphia side, or the New York side).

Pennsylvania let Amazon know that, if they had any presence in the state they would be taxed a very long time ago and since then Amazon has been very careful to stay away from PA.

Illinois has already passed a Online Sales Tax Law. Amazon and Overstocked are currently fighting against it while Wal-Mart has taken the chance to get some positive PR for once and gathered up all the local business to defend it. 

Florida is still having protests to tax online retailers that started after Amazon was listed as the cause for why all Borders stores closed in the state.

Ohio is in the middle of finding how many companies don't pay a sales tax to charge them with a “use tax” and Amazon is at the top of the list.

 

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TokyoRevelation

"Just want to point out that the biggest challenge to small businesses are large etailers like Amazon. "

Even if Amazon.com collected sales or use tax in California and other states where Amazon doesn't currently have a physical presence, the challenge (a.k.a competition) for small retailers would be just as great. I do not know where to find a survey about this, but I'd wager that selection & convenience are the main reasons why Amazon.com is at the top of consumers' lists, with avoiding sales tax in third place or lower. If you go to a Borders or Barnes & Noble looking for a somewhat uncommon specific title, in most locations, I'd say you'd have a 50% chance of that store having it in stock. Of course, they can order a title for you, but it often takes a week or longer to arrive, and then you have to travel back to the store to retrieve it. With Amazon, all you have to do is search for your book, and you can almost be certain its in stock, usually at a very competitive price. Ships to your door in 3-5 days or shorter. Even with sales tax, this is simply more attractive in today's marketplace. Do other booksellers carry as many used books? Rare and collectible editions? Probably not.

(On a side note, Powell's City of Books in Portland, Oregon is the only physical bookseller of which I'm aware that can really compete against Amazon.com: they have the massive selection of new, used and collectible books, and Oregon has no sales tax. Maybe some of these other bookstores should have been taking notes.)

As I said before, and I'll say it again. There are ways for small retailers to survive, and even thrive, in the world of e-tail, but it's not the government's job to put more legislation to impede the free marketplace. Why doesn't the government try to make things easier for small business. Maybe if it weren't so difficult to get a business up and running, they would be able to buy more inventory, spend more money on improvements, attract customers.  People love shopping in stores, but they have to stand out to consumers somehow. This is the 21st century, and people are thinking differently, they want an intimate, personal shopping experience. They want a reason to come back. Those businesses that can't figure it out, well, really don't stand a chance.

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TerribleToaster

 

" I do not know where to find a survey about this, but I'd wager that selection & convenience are the main reasons why Amazon.com is at the top of consumers' lists, with avoiding sales tax in third place or lower" 

You are skipping the most important factor and the one that everyone (but you, apparently) is thinking about: price. 

If I can an item (book) on Amazon and it cost me $50 w/ shipping (3-5 business days) while getting at the local book store will cost me $60, I'd go with Amazon to save money. However, if Amazon now is taxed as fairly as the local distributor the price now jumps to $55. At this point, it may be more convenient for me to spend the extra $5 and get the book instantly instead of waiting upwards of a week for it (convenience is a combination of time and effort to get the product you want, due to the fact that Amazon has to ship, local stores are often more convenient). Or say it's an expensive item, a $10,000 computer. If Amazon sells it at $10,000 but a local store has to put on a 2.5% sales tax, I would have to pay an extra $250 dollars. Naturally I go with the cheaper price. 

Amazon having a wider selection, by the way, does not terribly affect local stores; as it means that Amazon is selling a good which they (the local stores) don't sell, regardless of Amazon's presence, so they have no loss in profit regardless. They can only lose in profit, due to wider selection, from combo deals; but a combo deal in which Amazon has all the items for the combo and the local only has one is unlikely seeing as the products are complimentary, a local store would be greatly encouraged to carry it. 

 

"(On a side note, Powell's City of Books in Portland, Oregon is the only physical bookseller of which I'm aware that can really compete against Amazon.com: they have the massive selection of new, used and collectible books, and Oregon has no sales tax. Maybe some of these other bookstores should have been taking notes.)"

Wait, what's the difference between Powell's City of Books and other brick & mortars? They have no sales tax which means they can compete evenly with Amazon since they are both on a even playing field? Doesn't this just verify everything I've said so far?

"As I said before, and I'll say it again. There are ways for small retailers to survive, and even thrive, in the world of e-tail, but it's not the government's job to put more legislation to impede the free marketplace. "

Actually, that is the government's job. Price floors, price ceilings, anti-trust laws, fair compensation, etc. besides things like TVA are all examples of this. Government's control the marketplace so that they can try and keep it from killing itself (the great crash, the dot com bubbling, the rise of NYCHA, etc. illustrate not only he inherent possibility of a free market to self-destruct, but how a government can limit or force recovery from such situations).

"Why doesn't the government try to make things easier for small business."

They are making it easier for them with this law.

"Maybe if it weren't so difficult to get a business up and running, they would be able to buy more inventory, spend more money on improvements, attract customers."

Amazon makes local business owner's lives difficult; this law will help with this by leveling the playing field.

"People love shopping in stores, but they have to stand out to consumers somehow. This is the 21st century, and people are thinking differently, they want an intimate, personal shopping experience. "

At the best price.

"They want a reason to come back."

To buy goods at the best price.

 

Just because you don't like the method (for which I have no idea why you think Amazon needs a price advantage) doesn't mean it isn't a method. The government is doing what you just asked, even if you don't like how they are going about doing it.

 

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livebriand

As someone who lives in CA, I can say that we simply need more taxes, more money for the state. I'm tired of amazon trying to prevent online taxes, when in store you pay them. Seriously, this is unfair for a lot of people. In fact, after I heard about that I haven't bought anything from amazon (though I haven't had to buy anything it happens), and the next time I do I'll use another online retailer or a local store simply because I don't support amazon here. It's not like greedy cap-weilding ISPs, we consumers actually have a lot of choice here. Besides, if we let them get away with not having any affiliates in California to avoid tax, it'll hurt a lot of small businesses who make their money through amazon, and it won't help anything. I'd prefer to simply have sales tax on amazon like everywhere else.

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wcj786

I agree. Let's tax any and every product that goes to California with a 95% sales tax.  AS you said, we need MORE taxes in California.  Hell, I don't even live in California and I am all for it.  Maybe they will secede from the U.S.  That way, they can then also impose an IMPORT tax on all products that enter the state, as well as that sales tax.  That sounds like what the typical Californian believes in. 

 

The problem is that it is all of the excessive spending that has caused the problems with California's budget deficit, not low taxes.  If you truly want to get the states' budget balanced and keep the state on a smooth track, modify the state constitution, so that not any and every ballot initiative can be appended to the constitution.  Then, go back and repeal the vast majority of the initiatives that were put in the constitution in the first place.  The last thing is to make the state a RIGHT TO WORK state.

Doing those things will not only balance the budget, but provide a HUGE surplus within ONE year.  There is no need to raise taxes on anybody, just get rid of the liberals in Sacramento.

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Darkside2984

Seeing as California has been doing such a great job fiscally over the past few decades they probably deserve more taxes from everyone. I am sure they would spend it mostly on roads, education and necessary projects and not blow it. /s

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Morete

Yeah, I think Amazon is going to lose this one.  This ideology is not only going to lose in California, but in the other 49 States as well.  Republicans want to be taxed to fund their local police, State National Guard, U.S. Military and roads and highways.  Democrats want to be taxed to support all of their special interest groups and welfare programs which would be too exhaustive to even begin to list.  Yeah, Republicans and Democrats alike love taxes.  They just argue over where they are going to be apportioned.

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Vigilant Satyr

Californians are very picky about levying taxes on themselves, or at least they have been in the past. When you are paying almost the highest sales tax rate in the country, you are not likely to apply it to something that you use to get around it.

I think the rate at which they collect and verify signatures will indicate the support that Amazon has for this initiative.

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Digital-Storm

And to think this is just another way to avoid paying tax for stuff you buy online. Legally, you are suppost to report online purchaces so that they are taxed for accordingly, and doing it automatically gets people in a riled up mood.

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Vigilant Satyr

It's not called a sales tax but you are right that online purchases are subject to a self-reported use tax that matches the state sales tax rate. I wonder if anyone actually declares and pays that?

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thepoor

They don't use all those sales tax money to fix road, they use the money to mandate school systems to teach gay's agenda.  California is a s(it)hole right now.  Leave Cali to the Mexican.

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Ashton2091

Ah, good ol' racism and hatred at its best. Thank you for reminding us all that your kind still exist. This kind of thinking is what holds this country back. Im not saying that Cali use's the tax money for what it needs, but you were obviously looking for a reason to exude your hatred.

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Zoandar

I would not think sales taxes fund highways. That's why states have highway taxes and license and permit fees. Like the taxes on gasoline, license plate fees, or the permits trucks need to operate on highways

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TerribleToaster

As someone who worked for a government Streets Department (street design in particular, not my favorite job) I can tell you that the streets are generally provided for from the general fund (generally). Thus sales tax does, in fact, fund highways, streets, bridges, etc. But you are right in implying that a loss of sales tax would not destroy the roads. Streets and the likes are the among the most important things provided by any government thus in order to guarantee funding they are funded from the general fund which is made up of numerous taxes, fees, etc. thus preventing the loss of revenue from any one tax or fee from hindering such an important service.

If CA really loses the (expected) income from sales tax they will just hike taxes elsewhere to make up for it as needed. Really, the only people who truly benefit from a victory for Amazon here is Amazon.

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someuid

Sad news for the companies in California that do have to collect sales tax.

Who will pay for the roads when everything is bought and sold over the internet and no one has to pay sales tax?

UPS and FedEx better buy some military-grade delivery trucks.

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kagai

The products bought over the internet aren't magically transported to your house. They are delivered and those delivery companies pay taxes in the states they reside in, and with increased shipments comes the need for more employees to ship those products throughout a state. UPS drivers make about $75,000 on average and they pay income taxes. Those employees also still buy items at traditional brick and mortar stores and pay taxes on those purchases. But, I guess you would prefer more low wage brick and mortar jobs instead of higher paying delivery jobs.

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TerribleToaster

"The products bought over the internet aren't magically transported to your house. They are delivered and those delivery companies pay taxes in the states they reside in"

1. It's not the sales tax.

2. Even if you order from a brick and mortar store, they also have things shipped in and those things get hit with the same tax. Your point is moot.

"and with increased shipments comes the need for more employees to ship those products throughout a state."

1. The stuff is already being shipped to brick and mortar stores. There wouldn't be any great increase in shipping (still an increase, since your bulk load carried is reduced, but that is far different that an increase in shipping size).

2. There is a loss in business in brick and mortar stores, and thus a loss in employees, that  would actually be greater that any increase in jobs in shipping.

"UPS drivers make about $75,000 on average and they pay income taxes."

You are still losing more of your workforce from the closing of brick and mortars.

"Those employees also still buy items at traditional brick and mortar stores and pay taxes on those purchases."

By your own words, they don't. They pay Amazon and avoid the tax. Why would they shop at brick and mortar stores? You said yourself, there is no incentive.

"But, I guess you would prefer more low wage brick and mortar jobs instead of higher paying delivery jobs."

(Nice loaded question) Except that brick and mortar jobs are on about the same pay grade on average (some higher and some lower). But the key point is more jobs. One truck driver can take over the job posts filled by multiple cashiers, sales reps, HR, managers, etc. plus any jobs that are not taken directly but can no longer be supported with the closing of the store. You are consolidating the economy, plain and simple. That is not a good thing if you want it to grow.

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wcj786

I agree with your rebuttal to the previous post, but the problem with California and the state deficit has NOTHING to do with taxes being too low or not being collected by Amazon.  California would have a HUGE surplus if they did not continue to enact assinine amendments to their state constitution.

They mandate a specific class size, a guaranteed amount to education per student, a payoff to the state unions in the form of high wages in return for continued support for the liberals in office. 

The state legislature does not represent the citizen of California.  They represent the interests of the unions.  Why is it that the state workers do not have to share in the pain of the recession with pay cuts and lost jobs that the private sector has had to handle?  What does the state government actually procude that generates revenue for the state (taxes is NOT a valid answer).

It is the private sector that generates all of the income for that state, yet the state enacts heinous regulations on the private sector, driving amny companies out of business or severely curtailing their hiring practices.  Yet, at the same time, the legislature will continue to add more stat jobs, creating a need for more tax revenue at the same time they are systematically attempting to destroy the small businesses that account for the majority of small business.

Quit trying to tax Amazon.  Lay off half the state employees and force them to get jobs in the private sector.  That will create less need for taxes and more revenue via income tax.  This can be done over the course of 2-3 years, so it enables those people to find jobs, but get them off the government trough and make them actually work for their living, instead of relying on the private sector to pay for everything.

One last thing.  Get rid of the government unions.  Put that in the state constitution, so that it is impossible for them to form.  That will enable the legislature to start representing ALL of their constituents, instead of sucking up to the labor bosses for endorsements and election money.

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Carlidan

Let me get this straight, you don't live here but you know all the all the reasons why my state in a budget decificit. Let me guess where you get your information. Fox News? I can guarentee you that our state problem is a revenue problem. We've already gutted ALOT out of our police, fire, schools, etc... and social programs. All you spewing are the same talking points the FAR right keep saying. I say screw any goverment help period. I say let everyone fend for themselves. I'm all for it. 

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Holly Golightly

Hurray, a victory for everyone!

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TerribleToaster

You mean, a victory for everyone who supports Amazon's position.

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Holly Golightly

But why would anybody support a sales tax? It hurts the e-tail economy, and hurts the poor more than helps them. These politicians are typically corrupt, and only want to add a sales tax so they have fatter wallets to buy their next luxury condo. They care less about roads. What they should do is increase the tax on the richest 2% of California. Less people are effected by the tax, which is better than having everyone pay for the invisible road construction.

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livebriand

You do realize that the California governor, Jerry Brown, is known for being quite frugal, right?

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Holly Golightly

I would not know... I am from New York. In New York, all my life I have grown up to the worst of politicians with names like:

Micheal Bloomberg (AKA Emperor Bloombucks) The first Mayor to allow himself a 3rd term and sold many public schools for Condo developers.

Elliot Spitzer (AKA Client Number 9) The famous governor who became successful man by cracking down on prosititution, AND ended his politcal career with one.

David Paterson (The Blind Crook) the first blind man in the world to actually SEE a baseball game from a luxury skybox. 

Rudy Giuliani (The Transvestite) He is planning to run for president and first lady in 2012. Best known for paying police top dollar to manipulate criminal records on petty crimes like graffiti into drug possession.

Andrew Cuomo (College Cutter) He is fairly new to office, but was the first to financially impact all fundings and grants to universities and their students. His focus is elementary schools are the future, not college... It wont take him long to be famous for something worse of course.

As you can see, I grew up with nothing but big corrupt politics. So I oppose any taxes as they really do not go to our roads, but their pockets. I mean, if we are going to have pot holes one way or another... Why not get them for free? Perhaps we need more frugal politicians like Jerry Brown and maybe Arnold "Govenator" Schwarzenegger. Maybe Californian politicans are more honest... But in NY, they think that once they have political power in this world, they are unstoppable, and feel they rule the world with the countless dollars they collect from lobbiest and from stealing hard working middle class tax payers. It makes me sick to my stomach... So as you can see why, I am strongly against any and all taxes.

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TerribleToaster

 

"But why would anybody support a sales tax? It hurts the e-tail economy, and hurts the poor more than helps them. " 

Because? You are saying it hurts people without stating why. I can tell you what happens when you don't tax etailers. By not taxing etailers they have a advantage over brick and mortar stores and are forcing them out of business, hurting the overall economy; and, since local retailers are now gone, the poor also lose their best job market and are far worse off than they are before with the now increased unemployment rate. Because unemployment is so high, the unemplyment tax would be rasied hurting everyone who still has a job and increases the workload on a already overstrained government body. On the plus side, inflation will be pretty low with all that unemployment, and if your rich or have stock in Amazon life would be good.  

"These politicians are typically corrupt, and only want to add a sales tax so they have fatter wallets to buy their next luxury condo."

Proof? What made you think this? Are they taking pay hikes?

"They care less about roads."

Proof? What are they doing that shows a disinterest in roads? Are they refusing to maintain them?

"What they should do is increase the tax on the richest 2% of California. "

That wouldn't help the brick and mortar stores.

"Less people are effected by the tax,"

You mean fewer suppliers are affected by the tax. People are always affected by the tax.

"which is better than having everyone pay for the invisible road construction."

I don't even know what this is suppose to mean.

 

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Holly Golightly

What I mean by invisible road construction, is that no matter how high taxes become, it seems there is always a pothole somewhere. In New York, potholes take about a month or 2 to be fixed... And supposedly NYC is suppose to be the financial center of the world. The state collects billions upon billions of tax dollars, all that money is not improving our roads or economic condition. I do not agree with the brick and morter sales tax either. I am against ALL sales tax. If a poor person wanted to get a cheap gaming computer for $900, he would save up to $900 and change, but to realize that depending on what state he is on, he would have to cough up an extra $100 just for the government, which means he or she could not buy any upgrades on his PC which could be use to generate profit on American companies like Corsair, Intel, or AMD. The only reason why I am strongly against a state charging tax to some e-tailers is because some e-tail business is not actually on the state. It is not fair that they have to collect a tax on a state they themselve do not even reside on. It makes matters complicated for all businesses really, not just Amazon. I am with you on the fairness part, brick and mortar should get the same treatment. They too should be tax-free.

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bittertruth

I'm totally with you. Holly. You spoke my mind. Now, I don't have anything to write.

But to be honest, there is no scope for traditional brick and mortal style shops, everyone will be shopping online oneday. I've always bragged about the beauty of online shopping being the easy access of tax free products and free shipping. Not all californians are rich, if out of state of cali folks think so. But those who have excess amount of money, government should bring some policies to charge them higher tax not the poor ones.  We need leveledup economy where everyone is rich, no one left poor. The flaw in capitalism may be the rich gets richer and poor gets poorer. There are other ways to bring in revenue for states. Just a thought. 

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Holly Golightly

WOW! We totally see eye to eye on this. My vision of a utopian society is to have a perfectly even economy. It drives me insane to see how that line between the rich and poor continues to grow. Taxes, are just one of the many things that takes away the happiness of our fellow man. You would think with the way the economy has turned that they would find ways to encourage economic growth... And one thing is for certain, sales tax (both online and in retail) is actually counter-productive! It gets all sorts of people discouraged... When the online solution became a tax-free reality, we the people are more happy. Because of no taxes, many online stores grew drastically. Just like Amazon did.

Retail stores are only great when you want to see a product in real life. Sometimes online pictures and videos can be deceptive. So the only solution is to see it in real life... Like a TV for example. It really makes me sad just how often shoplifting occurs in retail stores. This is why online shopping is the future for the customers like us, and for the bright minds that run the business. Making it tax-free is the incentive that attracts everyone. This only further proves that taxes need to just go away, and stay in the past. 

You are so right about the government finding other ways to make money. For example, oil is so darn profitable... Yet only private wealthy businesses control that. Imagine if the government could get in the oil and gold selling business? They would not need to charge any tax at all, because everyone worldwide would actually pay ANY price given. This works at the people's advantage. Roads will be fixed, and hospitals would be free of charge. This actually improves our way of life. But unfortunately, we are stuck in capitalism, and in a capitalistic society, everything is privately runned. Owned by the elites. Those elites who are the top 2% wealthiest. A happy medium would be to charge that top 2% even more taxes. If not, the government should sell the natural resources it actually owns. 

There are a ton of ideas out there that the government can take advantage of. The banking industry is another profitable business. If the government ran the only bank in the country... Imagine, on 5% interest rates on your, and every other citizens' credit card! That is 5% interest of the entire USA population who actually uses a credit card month to month. This idea was Alexander Hamilton's thinking. What people (especially tea-party people) need to do is be more open-minded about having a government raising funds for its people. Where there is no line between rich and poor. Where nobody has to pay a tax, because that tax money is in the format of oil reserves and banks. It really works. But since there are soo many closed-minded people, the best solution would be to tax everyone no matter what or where. But man... Just imagine, a tax-free America... Where the rich and poor are no long burdened by taxes, because the government can provide for its' own.

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TerribleToaster

 

"What I mean by invisible road construction, is that no matter how high taxes become, it seems there is always a pothole somewhere. In New York, potholes take about a month or 2 to be fixed... And supposedly NYC is suppose to be the financial center of the world. The state collects billions upon billions of tax dollars, all that money is not improving our roads or economic condition. I do not agree with the brick and morter sales tax either. I am against ALL sales tax. If a poor person wanted to get a cheap gaming computer for $900, he would save up to $900 and change, but to realize that depending on what state he is on, he would have to cough up an extra $100 just for the government, which means he or she could not buy any upgrades on his PC which could be use to generate profit on American companies like Corsair, Intel, or AMD." 

Nice little tirade, but whether you think sales tax is a reasonable tax has nothing to do with whether or not Amazon should pay sales tax. In the context of this topic, sales tax is a given. It's there and not up for debate (in this topic). Thus I don't feel obligated to address this piece of what looks suspiciously like flame bait to me (I may be wrong and there is a decent chance of that, but regardless, on to the topic at hand). 

Now as for the rest:

 "The only reason why I am strongly against a state charging tax to some e-tailers is because some e-tail business is not actually on the state."

They are in the state. It is where they are selling their goods. Why should they be allowed to skip a tax on goods sold in a state that everyone else has to pay?

" It is not fair that they have to collect a tax on a state they themselve do not even reside on."

Their customers reside in the state, so why is it not fair. Everyone else has to pay the tax, but not them and that is somehow fair? 

"It makes matters complicated for all businesses really, not just Amazon."

That depends on what you mean by complicated. Because the sales tax can't be avoided it is actually simpler for business than a "some pay some don't" system. It does, however, increase the complexity/diversity of the retailer market but this is a good thing.

"I am with you on the fairness part, brick and mortar should get the same treatment. They too should be tax-free."

That the thing though, this whole topic is not about whether we should have, or not have sales tax. But that, assuming their is a sales tax, should etailers pay it along side retailers or do they get special treatment. That is what this law is all about. Amazon wants special treatment over brick and mortar stores.

Whether or not you think there should be a sales tax at all is an entirely different issue and one more suited for a political/economical discussion board, not a tech board. The only reason we are talking about this at all here is because the internet is involved directly in what is the trouble. 

 

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Holly Golightly

A lot of people make the mistake that my statements are suppose to trigger a flame war, and often is so, I am stuck with them. With that said, let me be clear, I am not here to start a flame war, I am only here to state my point of view on all of this.

Hmm, I do not recall mentioning retail on my first statement, with that said, I am for equality of ALL businesses. If I am not mistaking, you mentioned Brick and Mortar first... But that is besides the point. Whether it be a tech company, or a store that happens to sell tech-related items. It is not fair that online businesses have an upper hand against retail chains. But perhaps that is why people are ordering online... Because they do not want to pay the taxes. With economic uncertainty, you want to go for the absolute lowest price, and where else can you get it right now? Only online... Unless you live in Oregon which does not charge a sales tax at all.

If a business is not at that state, why should they collect a tax for the rest of the 49 states that are there? So, if I am not mistaking, lets say I buy something in Europe, They have to colect a sales tax despite the fact they are not only in this state, but not even in this country? It is wrong to have companies collect taxes where they aren't. It does not matter if they are from a different state, or a different country. Sales tax are only done on a state level and not on a federal level. The moment it happens on a federal level, THEN and only then are they obligated to collect the tax. But states should not regulate businesses from other states to collect their tax. It is simply wrong. This is what I mean about the complexity about state sales tax. It matters not if they are online or whatever. Sales tax effects the tech industry greatly since tech items are, and always has been the hot thing to buy in the market. So no matter who charges what, it effects the technology companies in many ways.

I am not an Amazon fan. I feel that all businesses need to not charge any tax. I love many online stores like NewEgg, Ebay, FrozenCPU and much, much more. They give me the products I want at a price I can afford. Adding a sales tax would discourage me from buying the items online... And not all tech is sold everywhere. Exclusive things like the Dell Adamo were exclusive to online orders only. I think the same can be said about the HP Slate 500. Amazon may want that special treatment, but it seems to be the only online business targeted by states. NewEgg, Ebay and FrozenCPU are all tax-free. Even after states like California and New York forced Amazon to pay taxes, these guys still sell tax-free, because again, they do not have a presence... Atleast not physically in NYC. But yeah, all taxes effect the tech industry.

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