Amazon has struck a deal not to push for a referendum on California's law to collect sales tax on Internet transactions in return for a delay in enforcement. The LA Times coverage suggests this represents a movement in which Amazon will join forces with Walmart and other major retailers to finally force congressional action on federal legislation that would provide a unified national framework for collecting local taxes on Internet commerce.
I dunno. Maybe. The thought that such a giant issue could be approved by Congress in a few months defies the current polarized atmosphere, but there's an awful lot of money behind this push.
The group lobbying for Walmart and other retailers in Arkansas lauds the deal and lauds Walmart's wholly owned Arkansas senator, John Boozman for seeing things Walmart's way. As if ....
The Alliance for Main Street Fairness (AMSF) in Arkansas today issued the following statement in response to Amazon.com agreeing to collect and remit sales taxes in California:
“Amazon.com has finally acknowledged that their government-sanctioned advantage is unfair by agreeing to collect sales taxes in California. Amazon had the chance to make the same commitment here in Arkansas, but instead they chose to fire their Arkansas affiliate network,” said Robert Coon, spokesperson for the Alliance for Main Street Fairness (AMSF) in Arkansas. “Thankfully, Senator John Boozman understands the ultimate solution to this unfair playing field is to pass federal legislation that gives the states the authority to enforce collection rules. Only then will the playing field truly be leveled. We urge the United States Congress to move forward on this issue to provide certainty and fairness for businesses and consumers in Arkansas.”
BACKGROUND: After first suggesting collecting sales tax in California would be unconstitutional, and then arguing that collecting state sales tax would inhibit job creation in California, last week Amazon came to an agreement with state officials to begin collecting California sales tax in 2012. The agreement brings to six the total number of states Amazon will be collecting sales tax next year. Amazon already collects in Kentucky, New York, Washington, Kansas and North Dakota.