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Should We Have to Pay Tax on Amazon Purchases? (POLL)

California residents will have to begin paying sales tax on Amazon.com purchases, which supporters say will bring necessary revenue to the state.

On September 15, online retailer Amazon.com will charge sales tax on purchases from Californians.

The agreement between state lawmakers and Amazon.com is expected to raise $316 million in taxes, according to the L.A. Times, money needed to help our bankrupt state.

However, the agreement between Amazon and California may not last long. The Orange County Register reports that the agreement between the two parties was primarily a compromise meant to get a year's reprieve in collecting the tax in exchange for promises to add jobs and distribution centers in California.

This comes as a victory for the brick and mortar businesses that say that they have seen lost sales go to online retailers like Amazon.com.

at Palo Alto Bikes in mid-August to denounce Amazon.com for circumventing California sales tax laws. They argued that these online retailers have an unfair advantage in sales and that these uncollected taxes are depriving educators of their fair share.

"We just want to compete on an even playing field,” said Mike Jacoubowsky, owner of in Redwood City.

Amazon already charges sales tax in six states: Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Washington. Pennsylvania will join California in sales tax charges in September. New Jersey, Virginia, Indiana, Nevada, Tennessee and South Carolina are all expected to collect state sales taxes from online retailers within the next few years, adding millions to state accounts, according to CNNMoney.

Is charging sales tax on online purchases fair? Let us know in the comments.

wolfone September 09, 2012 at 07:43 PM
A great start would be Taxing the 1%! Don't blame the "illegals" many of them work jobs no "merikan" would be caught dead doing. Make the 1% pay! Leave the rest of us alone!
wolfone September 09, 2012 at 07:54 PM
I wonder if Mitt rMoneys tax guys asks him that? Oh never mind.
TomR September 09, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Unfortunately taxing the 1% will not be nearly enough to cover the hole our short sighted elected politicians continue to dig.. History has shown our state government officials have no inclination to make necessary, fundamental changes in their spending approach. Like a dependent bear on garbage they will keep returning for more. But do not fret the "rest of us" will be next. Sadly only then, will folks begin to pay attention.
Troy September 09, 2012 at 09:57 PM
It will definitely affect Amazon's sales. The only reason I buy from them is to save money by not paying sales tax. Now I can get a Nikon D90 from Best Buy for the same overall cost.... I already pay CA more in taxes than I can afford yet I get less and less and pay more and more.
DanC September 09, 2012 at 11:13 PM
Notice that Vince Dittohead didn't mention what HE thought about the tax. He listens to Rush Limbaugh and mimics him by attacking LIBERALS on anything.
Enquiring Mind September 10, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Wolfone said "Amazon is going to tax books, second hand books that have been already taxed at one point in time. " If you buy a used textbook from any college/university bookstore you'll pay sales tax. If you buy a used book from any used book retail outlet including a thrift shop, you'll pay sales tax.
Paul Pattison September 10, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Note it is not a new tax or an internet tax. We already owe this tax now. The only change is that Amazon is now going to collect it for the State instead of each individual now declaring there internet purchases on there California tax forms. Will actually save my business time as I now have to track all my Amazon purchases and file on my State returns.
sister madly September 10, 2012 at 01:17 AM
guess i'll be doin' some shoppin' before the 15th. while i do think amazon purchases should probably be taxed (just like catalog purchases were in decades past) perhaps that tax should be lower than regular sales tax...i also agree with those that say this hits the poor harder than the rich. sales taxes are always regressive.
Claire Felong September 10, 2012 at 01:22 AM
These taxes will neither increase nor decrease Amazon's presence in California. The tax is paid by the purchaser, not Amazon. The only additional bother to Amazon is to program the site to charge for the taxes and file the California returns, relatively low compared to the income they collect from California. As mentioned, you should be paying these taxes with your returns, anyway. Taxes on books are chump change compared to those not collected on all manner of electronics: computers, laptops, digital cameras, peripherals, monitors, TV screens, etc. It does not matter if an object is used, sales tax is charged on used books in a store.
Paul Pattison September 10, 2012 at 03:26 AM
Maybe it would be more fair if the rich were not exempt from sales tax on alot of there sales. Ie Sales on million dollar homes (not Capitol gains) or even on the shares in there stock portfolios
Lionel Emde September 10, 2012 at 04:55 AM
If you bought a used bok at a bookstore, you would pay sales tax, what's the difference?
Spence Covey September 10, 2012 at 05:07 AM
I really would not mind paying more taxes, but again, these politicians spend money like drunken sailors. We all know there is so much waste that it's almost unbelievable. That's the bottom line. Too much waste.
Frank Parks September 10, 2012 at 08:49 AM
They should have been charging it all along. Good foe the state finally forcing them to do it. Its ridiculous its taken this long. I dont like taxes either, but the point is its not fair that Amazon has gotten to keep millions of dollars that are due to the state.
Betsey Terry September 10, 2012 at 02:37 PM
wolfone..why is it so hard fir you to understand, that if you bought a used book at a used bookstore, thrift store etc., that you would have to pay sales tax on it.
CJH007 September 10, 2012 at 03:17 PM
The problem is that Amazon is passing the reporting part to the seller, which may be someone like me that sells 1 or 2 books. If Amazon, who processes the transaction, collects the payment (+ tax), reports and pays the tax directly then I would not have a problem. But that is not what Amazon is going to do.
Rondo Bean September 10, 2012 at 05:12 PM
I hate paying tax as much as anyone, but it's unfair to local businesses that online retailers don't charge sales tax.
residentwithopinions September 10, 2012 at 05:22 PM
The problem is CA spends like there is no tomorrow, supports too many illegals and the people with money who are smart are leaving the state to avoid paying for them when they get nothing out of it. If I knew my taxes were going to make this state better again I don't have a problem with paying them. But the real problem starts with the politicians that are elected (which really starts at voter turnout which is pathetic) and lazy "entrenched incumbents" like Dianne Feinstein. "Nothing says entrenched incumbent like a 42-yr politician that won't debate her opponent" http://youtu.be/09gDvV_zHHk Elizabeth Emken for SENATE!
Andy C September 10, 2012 at 06:20 PM
There is no difference between the govt taxing your used books and capital gains tax. It is taxing something that has already been taxed once. Only liberals can't see that and start crying about Cayman Islands tax shelters where Bill Clinton and Romney have money invested.
Andy C September 10, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Tax the 1% all you want "wolfone" it will not solve any problems and will end up making things worse. It sure sounds nice among your over-schooled pony-tailed friends but it just does not cut the mustard. Once you and your mob get what you want with the 1% paying more and realizing that nothing has changed, you will move on to rally against the 2%, 3% and so on. At some point, maybe you will realize that we have a spending problem!
Andy C September 10, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Why would Feinstein ever debate when she has all the KoolAid drinking zombies that will check her name on the ballot? Meanwhile she and her husband Richard Blume have amassed a massive fortune on the back of the very people that she "represents" and swore to work for. Blume has made millions in China directly through legislation that she has pushed. It's just disgusting.
Vince Chutney September 10, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Wolfone said: "They REFUSE to COLLECT TAXES OFF THE RICHEST 1% AND PREY ON THE 99% WHO ARE POOR AND CAN'T AFFORD TAX LOOPHOLE LAWYERS..." While Wolfone continues to live in his/her own private Idaho here are the facts (from the National Taxpayers Union): The top 1% pay 36.73% of the total federal income taxes The top 5% pay 58.66% of the total federal income taxes The top 10% pay 70.47% of the total federal income taxes The bottom 50% pay 2.25% of the total federal income taxes For those of you who are engaged in class warfare, like Wolfone and like our president, you will NEVER be satisfied with the distribution of income tax liability. Unfortunately for these people, and for our economy, the top percentile earners are also the ones who provide private sector jobs. So as you continue to create financial disincentives for them to work harder and grow their companies, you are invariably punishing those of us who want to work and pay their fair share of taxes. With fewer and fewer people working, fewer will be paying taxes and the tax burden increasingly falls on the shoulders of those who are working and/or earning an income. This cycle continues until we finally go down the drain or end up like Europe.
residentwithopinions September 10, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Well said Vince! And Andy, I just want to help get Elizabeth Emken's name out there, and hope that some independents might change their minds. Seems the Democrats are so worried that they won't get free birth control, legal abortions etc that they forget that we are heading off a finacial cliff, our dollar is worth less, our countries credit rating is failing and Iran is working on Nuclear bombs....hopefully if they decide to target the US they will leave CA alone since we seem to have most Persians living here.
Spence Covey September 10, 2012 at 08:58 PM
The posts here are very interesting to read. The one's that just amaze me are those that think the world owes them something. Basically, they want something for nothing. They spew these facts like they really knew what they were talking about. I'm happy that Vince Chutney, above, set the record straight.
Bob September 10, 2012 at 10:31 PM
What is the problem? In the old days the "Rich" would purchase high end items from out of state have them shipped to a forwarding house in Nevada to avoid the tax. I see this as a business opportunity for someone wanting to open up shop in Nevada.
bigslow September 11, 2012 at 01:08 AM
I do not see how this is going to help brick and mortar stores. Amazon usually has items priced lower than prices in brick and mortar stores, sometimes up to and over 50% off. I would rather pay tax on an item that is priced lower on Amazon, than to pay full price and tax on an item in a brick and mortar store. With the addition of tax to Amazon purchase, Brick and Mortar store should not have any excuse for not price matching with them now.
Enquiring Mind September 11, 2012 at 02:53 AM
Brick and Mortar stores cannot purchase in volume like Amazon so they pay more for the product which would prevent them from price matching.
Elizabeth Monticue September 11, 2012 at 05:35 PM
People, we pay taxes on used items every time we buy them. When you buy a used car, you pay state sales tax. A used clothing item at a thrift store? Taxed. A used book at a book store? Taxed. This is not a valid arguement. A more valid point is to buy locally, not from an internet corporation that owes allegiance to no one but itself. Keep our local small business viable. Shop locally, keep your tax dollars at home.
Troy September 11, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Why is Amazon being singled out. What about Ebay and other companies? When I make a CA Ebay sale I always collect sales tax and turn it in but I can't do that on out of state sales. Souldn't taxing out of state purchases apply to all vendors?
Mary Mauer September 14, 2012 at 01:50 AM
This liberal is very happy to pay taxes. We NEED police and fireman and government services so of course we need to pay for all those things and taxes are what pays for them. It's really a no brainer......do the arithmatic!
Rick Bonilla December 10, 2012 at 05:24 AM
It's more than your tax dollars that stay at home when you shop at local small businesses. Your local economy is also enriched and benefits from the spending that the employees of those local shops do in your community. Thusly more of your neighbors are employed while your neighborhood prospers. A sale is a sale is a sale, pay the tax or break the law. Your choice.

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