Amazon.com is not backing down from California’s new sales tax collection policy. After canceling its affiliate program in the state late last month, the Seattle online retailer now says that it plans to support a referendum in California that would attempt to repeal the sales tax on online purchases made by residents in the state.

“We support this referendum against the recent sales tax legislation because, with unemployment at well over 11 per cent, Californians deserve a voice and a choice about jobs, investment and the state’s economic future,” said Amazon.com Vice President Paul Misener in a statement sent to The Financial Times.

California, like many states, is looking at ways to reduce a mounting deficit. And the tax on online purchases is one such way, with Governor Jerry Brown signing the measure last month.

Evan Westrup, a spokesman for the governor, tells The New York Times that “Amazon should be spending less time punishing its affiliates, threatening lawsuits and collecting signatures and more time doing what every other retailer does in California every day.”

Amazon must now collect 505,000 signatures from California residents, with Westrup wondering if the Seattle online retailer will attempt to collect those signatures in front of brick-and-mortar stores in the state that already collect sales taxes.

Previously on GeekWire: “A guide to why Amazon is losing the tax battle”

Comments

  • edfardos

    They should be able to get those signatures in a few days if they’re allowed to collect them online, specifically during the amazon checkout process.  I could care less about Amazon’s politics, but I’d really like to see the People of California exercise their constitutional right to repeal laws without the approval of the misguided legislature.  California is one of the few states where the people can fire their representatives, create laws, and repeal flawed legislation — and there’s nothing the lawmakers can do about it.

  • Joe Celko

    California has over 1700 different sales taxes because of local options. Add the other states and it is a mess. Some states do not tax food; Texas has a tax amnesty at the start of school ; Georgia does not tax Bibles. How do you determine the proper tax rates? From the billing ZIP? the shipping ZIP? the credit card holder’s ZIP? Something else?

    We might want to read the reaction to the Sears & Robuck catalog law suits by brick & mortar stores. New music, same lyrics.

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