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  1. #1
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Retailers appeal to Brewer in online sales tax quest
    "Governor says the issue is for the federal government" and I agree. The Federal bill needs the backing of governors to get through Congress.

    Read more: Retailers appeal to Brewer in online sales tax quest


    Arizona retailers are appealing to Gov. Jan Brewer to get involved in their quest to tax online sales, saying the current tax system is unfair to brick-and-mortar businesses.

    But the governor is not interested in getting involved in the fray, saying it's a matter the federal government should decide.

    Retailers hope to breathe some life into a bill that would extend Arizona's sales tax to vendors who have a physical presence in the state. Their target is Amazon, which operates four warehouses in Arizona.

    Amazon.com sales are tax-free, and that puts shop owners such as Kate Tanner in the awkward position of serving as a showroom for people who later buy online, saving themselves the state's 6.6 percent sales tax and local sales taxes.

    Tanner, who operates the Babystop and Kidstop stores in Phoenix, said she's had customers come into her shop, try out a product and quiz her for information on how it works, only to say they were "just looking."

    Many of those customers, she suspects, go home and buy the product online. For some of the high-dollar strollers she sells, that can amount to a $54 savings. But for Tanner, it's the loss of a several-hundred-dollar product and a drain on her time and expertise.

    The story plays out at retailers across the state and nation, who feel the toll online shopping takes on their bottom line.

    "The best indicator was Best Buy," Tanner said. "They're closing 50 stores."

    A bill stalled in the state House of Representatives would subject Amazon purchases to the sales tax.

    Michelle Ahlmer, executive director of the Arizona Retailers Association, said her group would like Brewer to broker a deal that would levy sales tax on Amazon while waiving the $53million tax bill the state sent the online retailer last year. Those are the terms of Senate Bill 1170, which is held up in the House.

    Matthew Benson, Brewer's spokesman, said the tax bill is proof that Arizona is not letting Amazon slide tax-free. However, he didn't know if the bill has been paid and said it would be hard to know, because individual tax records are private.

    "This is an issue (Brewer) would like to see the federal government address," Benson said. "We have different standards in different states."

    Ahlmer said that more than half of states now tax online purchases and that Arizona needs to join the crowd. Retailers believe this will increase pressure on Congress to impose a national standard for online taxation.



    Read more: Retailers appeal to Brewer in online sales tax quest

  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Fortunately a federal district court judge threw out the CO internet tax law a couple weeks ago. Hopefully that ruling begins a precedent for other challenges to state nexus laws. Ultimately, IMO the only resolve IS as Gov. Brewer states. I have to guess that Amazon would re-instate all affs if a federal bill overturned and replaced individual state tax laws for online sales. Let's keep our fingers crossed.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Hamilton View Post
    Fortunately a federal district court judge threw out the CO internet tax law a couple weeks ago. Hopefully that ruling begins a precedent for other challenges to state nexus laws. Ultimately, IMO the only resolve IS as Gov. Brewer states. I have to guess that Amazon would re-instate all affilliates if a federal bill overturned and replaced individual state tax laws for online sales. Let's keep our fingers crossed.
    I know one of the reasons I was hated and banned from here was because of this issue. Still, I say this again:

    It is tax vs. freight.

    In essance, the brick and mortar guys charge tax and online retailers charge freight. There is NO competitive advantages.
    At least not enough to justify this bs tax and the baggage that comes with it.

    Steve


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