A bit of legislative maneuvering in California could torpedo Amazon’s efforts to bring the online sales tax collection issue to the ballot next year.

The Los Angeles Times reports that a group of California legislators are attempting to create a so-called “urgency bill,” a measure which the newspaper says “would nullify the existing law” and in turn invalidate Amazon’s voter petition.

According to the LA Times, eBay has already shifted its support to the new political effort. That could leave Amazon standing alone its fight against the collection of sales tax. Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that Amazon had committed another $2.25 million to the More Jobs Not Taxes campaign, bringing total funding in the campaign to more than $5 million..

An urgency bill requires a two thirds majority vote, and the LA Times says its unclear whether the California legislators supporting the measure have the votes to pull it off.

The Times notes that Amazon has few options, either try to push forward with the referendum or challenge the law in court.

The matter is causing some confusion among California residents.

“I’m not sure whether to be mad at Amazon or the state or both. I’m kind of mad at both,” former Amazon affiliate Beth Terry tells the LA Times. Here’s more on the issue from the Fresno Bee, which calls the effort a “legislative sleight of hand.”

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  • Guest

    Wait a minute. California has a way to pass a law that can’t be modified by citizens? That doesn’t seem very democratic, John.

    • http://twitter.com/Vroo Vroo (Bruce Leban)

      Wait a minute. California has a way to pass a law that can’t be modified by rich corporations distorting the truth? That’s contrary to the spirit of capitalism.

      • Guest

        Corporations are people too, Bruce.

        • http://twitter.com/Vroo Vroo (Bruce Leban)

          Sure they are. It’s amazing how a “small business” like Amazon can afford this kind of largess. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Check out http://jobsnottaxes.com/ which says that they’re trying to protect small business. Yeah, right. I fail to understand how Californians cheating on their taxes translates to saving small business. Perhaps the sales tax rate could be lower if everyone paid it?

          • Guest

            Californians, not Amazon, owe sales and use tax to California. California can hire Amazon to act as a tax collector, but that’s not what California plan to do: they plan to force Amazon into service despite having no Constitutional* right to do so.

            As you can tell by this sudden change of action, California’s legislators are afraid that their unconstitutional* action might face voter opposition.

            * The Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America.

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