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Poll: Amazon.com Sales Tax Begins Saturday; Should We Have to Pay?

The online retailer will levy state tax on mail-order purchases beginning Sept. 15. Are you going on a shopping spree before then, or are you happy to see the change?

If you've got items sitting in your Amazon shopping cart that you've not yet purchased, you might want to consider moving into the checkout line.

Friday is the last day to buy from the online retailer tax-free: Amazon will begin charging sales tax on purchases for California residents this Saturday. Sales tax in the region varies, including 8.75 percent in Los Angeles.

Up to now, buying online at Amazon.com saved customers money, since no sales tax was collected.

But state lawmakers in California—a state which desperately needs cash—reached an agreement last year with online retailers, including Amazon, that agreed to begin collecting a sales tax in September. Those sale tax funds will be returned to the state.

According to the LA Times, about half of the projected $316 million raised in the first full year, and put into state coffers, is expected to come from merchandise sold by Amazon.

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.

Increased prices for online purchases is welcome relief for brick-and-mortar stores, who feel the playing field for customers will be a bit more level.

CNNMoney says 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.

States estimate they lose $23 billion in annual sales taxes, some $11.5 billion of it from online purchases, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Meanwhile, Seattle-based Amazon has been expanding its physical presence in California, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The Chronicle says that in June, it leased 83,000 square feet just south of San Francisco's Financial District, and is close to signing a deal for 600,000 square feet in Sunnyvale.

Amazon is also expected to open two California fulfillment centers that will employ at least 1,000 workers each in San Bernardino and Patterson.

If you're interested in applying for those jobs, Amazon has set up a website to receive applications.

Do you think paying sales taxes on Amazon purchases is fair? Will it affect your shopping habits? Share your thoughts in the comments.

rasputin September 24, 2012 at 06:03 PM
During the 8 Republican years of George Bush, taxes were slashed for the wealthy, justified by supply side economics; i.e. 'trickle down'. Two wars were started and paid for by borrowing from China. Budgets were slashed at agencies that regulate, investigate, and pursue legal actions against individuals and corporations that game the 'free market' system. Laissez-faire regulators were put in charge (Christopher Cox at the S.E.C.). Tens of billions were given to friends of George (Halliburton, Blackwater and Rick Prince, etc.) Dick Cheney proclaimed "Debt does not matter." The Ponzi scheme came crashing down before Obama came into office. The Republicans crashed the car (750,000 jobs lost per month), and Obama was left to fix it. Sen Mitch McConnell (R-KY) openly declared Republicans would do everything they could to subvert Obama's efforts, and blocked virtually every agency and judicial appointment Obama tried to fill in order to cripple his administration. So I wonder where all these good people who complain about Obama were in the preceding 8 years when the boulder was being rolled toward the edge of the cliff. I seem to recall Fox News and Rush Limbaugh were on the airwaves and keeping us well-informed at the time. -- And BTW, who pays for the roads Amazon's delivery trucks roll on?
Niles Akbar September 24, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Ignore the leftist professional troll "rasputin."
Teddy Roosevelt VI September 24, 2012 at 07:53 PM
poor NIles, when faced with bad facts ignore them or blame the leftists or Kommie POTUS.....Cheney actually said "Deficits do not matter" that is until a Democrat came on deck. I recall Dubya encouraging people to pull equity out of their houses for travel or to buy a boat...hmmm how did that play out.....yes ignore Rasputin if you want, but the past FACTS & evets, you cant..last the WARS were off the books for 8 years, now they are ON..oops we owe more??? Call Sheldon!
rasputin September 24, 2012 at 08:01 PM
TR VI. Thanks for your corrections, additions - and support.
Niles Akbar September 24, 2012 at 08:37 PM
When does it EVER become Obama's job? Guantanamo? Still open and operating? Afghanistan? Still getting our soldiers killed every day - good job, Obama, NOT!. We still have, what, 25,000 US soldiers in Iraq in case you forgot. Economy? Yep, still in the toilet, as planned! Fast and Furious, yep, AG Holder in the clear. U.S Congresswoman Maxine Waters' corruption charges, all fixed. No prosecutions of the Wall Street scum that caused the economy to crash - same ayewholes are supporting Obama BIG TIME. Last but not least, the entire Obamacare is a disgusting union of government forcing you to buy health insurance from the same scummy insurance companies Obama claims to hate! Unvbelievable. Yes Bush sucked but so does Obama, the most responsibility-dodging president in US history. And yes, he is a socialist. There. I feel much better.

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