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”