When we first started discussing AB 178 (the "Amazon tax
" bill in the California Assembly), we all recognized that it was inspired by the New York law.
However, I now think that it is critically important
to point out that AB 178 (as drafted) is much, much broader than the New York law. I expect
that it will be amended
to conform more closely with the New York law, but right now it is not modeled on
the New York law, it is merely "inspired by" the New York law.
several commentators have noted that Amazon's lawsuit in New York was dismissed by the New York Supreme Court
, as if that is the final decision. In fact, in New York, the "Supreme Court" is what the regular trial courts are called -- it is not an appellate court
, and I certainly assume that Amazon is appealing the ruling.
This is critically important because some folks seem to believe that the New York law has already been considered and "approved" by New York appellate courts, which has not happened. In addition, it's critically important to note that the law which the New York trial court
upheld is very, very different
from the law now proposed in California.
If legislators believe that (1) this bill is the same as New York's, and (2) the New York law has already been upheld by NY appellate courts, then
they are much less likely to consider amending it.
In addition, if other folks believe that the California law merely "mirrors" the New York law, they may be shocked to later discover that it is much broader, and would effectively force all merchants
(selling more than $10,000 in products to Californians) to collect sales tax.