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Impending CA Sales Tax Sparks Amazon Buying Frenzy

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the get-it-while-it's-hot-and-doesn't-support-the-government dept.

Businesses 259

New submitter payola writes "On September 15, Amazon will begin adding in sales tax for purchases made in California. This is sparking a buying frenzy among California residents who are rushing to buy consumer electronics and other expensive items on the site before the deadline. Of course, consumers are supposed to pay sales taxes on their online purchases anyway, but few actually do. 'Amazon is not the only Internet merchant affected by the new law. But as the nation's largest online retailer, it has been the main target. More than 200 other out-of-state companies with major business in California may also be on the hook to collect sales taxes on items shipped to the state. The tax revenue from these online sales is being lauded as a win for the debt-ridden state, which estimates it will see an additional $317 million annually as a result; more than $83 million of that is expected to come from Amazon alone.'"

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f!r$T p15t (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41240643)

Frost Pist!!!!

captcha: betwixt

Jerks (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41240661)

Am I really the only person in the country who doesn't evade taxes?

Re:Jerks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41240707)

No

Re:Jerks (4, Insightful)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) | about 2 years ago | (#41240743)

I don't avoid taxes when I feel that my money is well spent. But its been a long time since I felt that way.

Near my small California town, I can count about 20 million spent on the 32nd park in my small town, a roadside beautification project that is far from beautiful, new road signs made by the company that does them for Rodeo Drive (the old road signs were fine), a pedestrian overpass that absolutely nobody uses because its 10x longer than just running across the street, etc.

Don't even get me started on the Federal governments waste of my tax dollars.

I can spend my money in way more useful ways than they can, and I'm sure I've created more jobs than the entirety of the government, on every level. Hell, I have at least 4 different delivery people come to my house almost every day.

Re:Jerks (2, Interesting)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 2 years ago | (#41240993)

I don't avoid taxes when I feel that my money is well spent. But its been a long time since I felt that way.

Agreed, this is a common issue with most countries. I don't mind paying taxes, but I for damn sure want value for my money.

Re:Jerks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41241155)

I don't even care that much, so long as I get a say in how it's spent.

Re:Jerks (4, Insightful)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) | about 2 years ago | (#41241401)

I don't even care that much, so long as I get a say in how it's spent.

It'd be easy to do. Put a list of projects and costs on the internet and let people vote for them. Top votes win and we keep going down the list until we're out of money. Anyone or any entity that wants to private fund a project can whip out their checkbook.

Once you fix the unique online identify situation, you've also got all voting online capable.

Of course, none of this will ever happen. Not because of technology issues, but because polticians take the job for power and the ability to spend other peoples money with impunity. They sure as shoot don't want us voting online, because then everyone would do it and they'd have lots of available information to make their decisions. Politicians like people who do what they're told, when they're told.

Hell, we aren't even allowed to vote for candidates in the primaries unless we state a party affiliation and then we're only allowed to vote for candidates from that party. The republicans wont even send you a ballot if you ask for it, unless you register republican. They're uncomfortable with non-sheeple independent voters who might upset their preprogrammed apple cart.

Re:Jerks (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | about 2 years ago | (#41241721)

I don't even care that much, so long as I get a say in how it's spent.

It'd be easy to do. Put a list of projects and costs on the internet and let people vote for them. Top votes win and we keep going down the list until we're out of money.

That is a TERRIBLE idea. We'd have massive statues of dicks and giant pudding-filled swimming pools. You can't trust this shit to the internet and you sure as hell can't trust the wisdom of mob-rule.

Re:Jerks (4, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#41241023)

Biggest problem I have with government is it spends whatever it likes, regardless how much I pay in taxes. Watching it go from $1 trillion debt in 1980 to $16 trillion these days, tells me the act of collecting taxes is largely done to pay interest on the debt, nothing more.

Re:Jerks (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41241069)

"interest on the debt"

You are a fool.

And it's not just the taxes that they steal, when they print fake money that is a stealth tax that reduces your spending power and relocates that value to the state.

So are you then planning to do something about this? Vote Romney for president and vote conservative in all other offices where you have the choice? Call and write to your representatives and demand accountability and prudence in government spending?

Can't wait for your answer.

Re:Jerks (-1, Troll)

luther349 (645380) | about 2 years ago | (#41241513)

you really think romney is going to change anything lol. and you call someone else a fool. they are all not worth a dam just the rich standing on the backs for the working man. and that will never change look at all of are history even if the people rise up and take them out of power they just reform it saying we wont fuck up this time.and the cycle repeats.

Re:Jerks (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41241785)

Right, just roll over and pay the tax. What a wise post, not.

I am not the fool, this government works for us, wake up.

I have little faith in Romney, but he is the better choice. This will not change overnight, you have to fight this war one battle at a time. Take what ground you can. A vote for Obama is a sure path to more taxes, less idividual liberty and more statism.

You think 'never change look at all of are history', I don't think you know much about history.

What is your choice citizen? Statism or representative government?

Vote Romney for president and vote conservative in all other offices where you have the choice. And follow through.

Re:Jerks (4, Insightful)

twotacocombo (1529393) | about 2 years ago | (#41241123)

Biggest problem I have with government is it spends whatever it likes, regardless how much I pay in taxes.

This. Why should we feel morally compelled to offer up MORE of our hard earned money to a group of people who are completely unable to responsibly handle what we already give them? Even if we turned over our entire yearly incomes and lived off the land, they'd still find a way to utterly piss it all away and we'd be in the same boat. Blaming *us* for the state's financial woes is blaming the victim. The state needs to get its own shit straight before they go pointing the finger at anybody else.

Re:Jerks (4, Insightful)

frosty_tsm (933163) | about 2 years ago | (#41241327)

I don't avoid taxes when I feel that my money is well spent.

Sorry but this is a bit of a cop-out.

We all want the money to be spent well. We all want to have say in how it's used. But the reality is that sometimes the money is going to be spent on things we don't like (e.g. Iraq or TSA). And people who do like these things don't want money going to, say, ACORN or Planned Parenthood (I'm making some generalizations here). And someone who lives in Northern California might not like that $200 of his taxes are going towards widening a freeway in San Diego. But this is how government (even an efficient and trim one, which CA is not) works.

If you want to fix government and how it spends your money, get involved. Hold your representatives accountable for how they vote (not what they say in speeches). Don't use the fact that government does many things (some you like, some you don't) as an excuse to skip taxes. Despite what some politicians are saying, tax evasion is NOT patriotic.

Re:Jerks (1)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) | about 2 years ago | (#41241431)

I don't avoid taxes when I feel that my money is well spent.

Sorry but this is a bit of a cop-out.

We all want the money to be spent well. We all want to have say in how it's used. But the reality is that sometimes the money is going to be spent on things we don't like (e.g. Iraq or TSA). And people who do like these things don't want money going to, say, ACORN or Planned Parenthood (I'm making some generalizations here). And someone who lives in Northern California might not like that $200 of his taxes are going towards widening a freeway in San Diego. But this is how government (even an efficient and trim one, which CA is not) works.

If you want to fix government and how it spends your money, get involved. Hold your representatives accountable for how they vote (not what they say in speeches). Don't use the fact that government does many things (some you like, some you don't) as an excuse to skip taxes. Despite what some politicians are saying, tax evasion is NOT patriotic.

You apparently read "avoid" as "evade". Easy to do.

Wish these guys spent even a fraction of my money on important stuff, although the things you listed are federal, not state obligations.

Our politicians waste 80% of my money on things nobody would support, except maybe the people cashing the checks.

Get involved? Hmm, unless I'm ready to line up under a billion dollar entity that'll tell me how I'll be voting, I wouldn't have a chance in hell of running or changing anything. Unless I can swing that kind of money and power, there's no chance of changing the system.

All of this stuff works great because most people spend most of their time working and taking care of their family. I'm retired and cranky...doesn't work on me.

Re:Jerks (2)

Keith111 (1862190) | about 2 years ago | (#41241645)

Actually, "getting involved" is one of california's biggest problems. So much of government money is spent placating the stupid californian people whose lives have absolutely no meaning because they are just worthless individuals. That's left with joining groups where the only thing you have to do is sit there and be annoying outside of grocery stores collecting signatures for a handful of people who like wasting taxes on stupid endeavors like putting those bumpy things outside of grocery stores in NEVER-FREEZES socal so that people will have traction in ice (Also apparently so that people in wheelchairs can't get across them since they apparently are nearly impassable if you're in one)

Re:Jerks (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41241765)

...the bumpy things outside grocery stores isn't for ice traction; it's for blind people you doofus. Not that I like them any more than the next non-blind person.

Re:Jerks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41241761)

Your excuse is a bit of a cop out too. One does not simply "Get Involved" The grandparents statement can be more simply stated as voter disenfranchisement.

let the voter have a say in how their money is spent, and evenly tax people.

Sales taxes disproportionally tax those in lower brackets. Allow the people to "vote" for how we want most of the budget spent. Let the shills ( politicians) fill in a nominal percent for where they think the people are wrong.

Re:Jerks (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41241789)

The government doesn't need my money. We are sixteen trillion dollars in debt. Actually, far worse than that. But if you just go off the typical "national debt clock" numbers, it's only sixteen trillion. That's $16,000,000,000,000.00. That's up six trillion from four years ago and up eleven trillion from twelve years ago. Taking a thousand dollars out of my pocket has a real meaningful impact on my life and the life of people I care about. It means very little to my government, who has absolutely no concern for the value of money. They don't need my thousand dollars (or tens of thousands of dollars per year, actually). How do I know they don't need it? Because no matter how much we give them, they spend trillions more that don't actually exist. I don't have the luxury of spending money I don't have, so the money actually means something to me when they take it away. If they don't take it away, they would have no problem just magically inventing that money and throwing it onto the spent pile of "money we'll owe forever".

The system is broken and "getting involved" will accomplish nothing. It's fixed and its broken and the concept of "participation" is there not so that you can accomplish anything, but for the same bullshit reason we tell people it's important to "get out and vote". Because it placates you. It has ZERO real impact. It just makes you feel like you're a better (if meaningless) person.

Re:Jerks (4, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#41241397)

And then there's the MTC [ca.gov] in the San Francisco Bay Area (funded through sales tax and bridge tolls among other sources) that purchased an entire building in downtown San Francisco and is renovating it to become offices for $170M. It's not clear why they couldn't stay in Oakland where office space is much cheaper than downtown San Francisco. Well, it is clear -- they have unlimited funding since residents are forced to fund them, if they need more money they can just raise tolls and/or taxes.

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_21418357/mtcs-san-francisco-office-building-purchase-bridge-tolls [mercurynews.com]
http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/MTC-project-may-cost-Bay-Area-drivers-more-3822760.php [sfgate.com]

When confronted with the fact that their purchase may not have been cost effective, the MTC rep said:

a San Mateo County supervisor who chairs the commission, insisted that the agency's goal was never to make money - or even necessarily to break even.
"We're not looking at it as investment per se," Tissier said. "We look at it as moving into your own home."

That's the problem with government agencies - what incentive do they have to spend money wisely?

Re:Jerks (1)

luther349 (645380) | about 2 years ago | (#41241399)

more money they will just wast. government and states don't need more money they need to manage what they have.and no that does not mean million dollar bonus checks to all your buddy's.

Re:Jerks (0)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | about 2 years ago | (#41240835)

Having fun up on that high horse? Think of this minor form of tax evasion as the poor man's Cayman account. Why should the rich get all of the fun?

Re:Jerks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41240869)

The real rich people don't do tax evasion (like the Caymans), they do tax avoidance. The difference is that avoidance is legal.

Re:Jerks (1, Insightful)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | about 2 years ago | (#41241075)

> The difference is that avoidance is legal
It's legal because they change the laws to make it that way. Mitt Romney made his money 'legally' too, but is too ashamed to release his tax returns so we know how. That should tell you something. If every worker in the US insisted they are paid through their Cayman's registered company which employs them on "minimum wage" then Treasury would spit their coffee.

> The tax revenue from these online sales is being lauded as a win for the debt-ridden state, which estimates ... more than $83 million of that is expected to come from Amazon alone.
Have they factored in that the new tax will cause people to buy less?

>I don't avoid taxes when I feel that my money is well spent. But its been a long time since I felt that way.
Yes, government wastes a lot of money, but they don't waste all of it. e.g. The platoon taking fire for you somewhere in the mountains of Afghanistan. (A cheap shot, but I make my point.) The CDC doesn't suck either.

Re:Jerks (3, Insightful)

_8553454222834292266 (2576047) | about 2 years ago | (#41241793)

The platoon taking fire for you somewhere in the mountains of Afghanistan.

Wait, are you trying to say that's not wasted money, and lives?

Legal corruption (2)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 2 years ago | (#41241079)

And the reason why those avoidance strategies for the rich are "legal" is because some rich contingent paid off a lobbyist who in turn wrote some ridiculous exclusion into the tax code who then handed that pre-written "law" to a politician who was given a piece of the lobbyist's cut to attach that "law" as a ridiculous addendum to a an unrelated bill that got passed by other corrupt politicians who also sipped from the same money well. But sure, it's legal.

Re:Jerks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41241025)

No, there are plenty of people who enjoy obeying violent mandates like taxation. Most just like it when others obey, and a very small few of us reject violence against innocent people universally.

Re:Jerks (1)

Dan667 (564390) | about 2 years ago | (#41241031)

you mean hollywood accounting, corporate welfare give aways, rich company oil / ag / pharma subsidies, among other ways companies and the rich don't pay their fair share of taxes? You will notice that these kinds of changes are only happening when it shifts the burden more on the middle class and the poor.

Re:Jerks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41241051)

So you pay use tax on EVERYTHING you purchase online from a website that doesn't collect sales tax for your state?

Of course you do.

Re:Jerks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41241097)

How much money did you spend online last year? Don't know? Neither do I, and I am sure as hell not going to keep track just so I can send more money to the state.

When I file my taxes, Turbo Tax asks "How much money did you spend at online retailers last year?" It's not that I don't want to pay taxes, its that I am not going to keep records for EVERY online purchase I make on my own accord. The retailers should collect it like brick and mortar stores.

Re:Jerks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41241137)

FWIW when you purchase stuff out of state in California you use the "use tax" line on the state form to add up your taxes and pay those unpaid ones at the end of the year. Been doing it for years, go through my ebay/amazon purchases and look for stuff that I didn't pay taxes on...

What this does is just makes sure the purchasers do pay the taxes they were owing in the first place.

And for those against taxes, how do you think the roads get built and repaired, bridges built, libraries funded, oversight to make sure our water, food, and medical care are safe, even trains and other public transportation (when you need it you appreciate it), fire departments, emergency response, kids educated, streets and roadways cleaned, etc. etc. etc. No taxes - and we will just end up with new fees from other sources.

Re:Jerks (4, Interesting)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) | about 2 years ago | (#41241277)

And for those against taxes, how do you think the roads get built and repaired, bridges built, libraries funded, oversight to make sure our water, food, and medical care are safe, even trains and other public transportation (when you need it you appreciate it), fire departments, emergency response, kids educated, streets and roadways cleaned, etc. etc. etc. No taxes - and we will just end up with new fees from other sources.

I wish they'd spend money on those things. We've had our school budgets cut so far I had to spend $250 on school supplies for my kids room. Real exotic stuff like staplers and marker pens for the white board. I also have to routinely fix school computers as it appears they cut everyone who can fix anything. My wife and I spend time daily in the classroom, because there are too many students and the teachers can't even perform class management, let alone teach them.

We spend more on education and health care, yet get among the worst results.

All of the county fire departments and state resources are all isolated now and won't help each other without being paid for the pleasure. Can't wait until the next time we have a huge fire near a county line and everyone on the other side is sitting on their hands, waiting to get paid.

I live in a wealthy town, yet my roads suck. Most of the roads around here do. 15 miles from the state capital, so it aint like Jerry doesn't see it.

We cut our library staffs so much, many of them closed or are only open limited hours.

We're currently spending billions on a high speed rail that starts in the middle of nowhere and ends in the middle of nowhere, which nobody will ride.

But we spent $400k to put up new rodeo drive quality signs in my town.

My friend Jerry says he's asking for a tax increase, and if we don't give into it, he'll cut the schools, healthcare and state welfare budgets. I seem to have missed how they're going to cut back on unnecessary spending, like any sane person would do when they're spending more than they're taking in.

Sounds a lot like extortion to me.

I'd be Buffet-like and write a check for extra, if they actually put the money to good use. But they don't. If they spent most of it in the areas you mentioned, I'd be all for it. But that stuff is in last place when it comes time to write a check. The politicians know most of us are too stupid to think it through and will just buckle and pay more.

But if they raise taxes, I'm packed and ready to leave. We already pay high income, sales and property taxes. I'm not getting my moneys worth. Nevada or New Mexico or Oregon are alllll calling...

Re:Jerks (1)

starburst (63061) | about 2 years ago | (#41241531)

I always say California has first world taxes and third world roads.

Re:Jerks (2)

Kohath (38547) | about 2 years ago | (#41241651)

If you already spend your own time and money educating your kids, why not take the next step and home school them? Home schooled kids learn a lot more, and everything happens on your schedule, not the school's.

Re:Jerks (1)

xquercus (801916) | about 2 years ago | (#41241685)

FWIW when you purchase stuff out of state in California you use the "use tax" line on the state form to add up your taxes and pay those unpaid ones at the end of the year.

We have a similar use tax here in Maine and when I lived in Washington State we had use tax there. In both cases, tax due can be calculated based on the actual amount of out of state purchase or the tax payer can elect to pay a calculated amount based on income -- essentially an amnesty payment. I've always opted for the amnesty option because it's very difficult to get an accurate total of out of state purchases. As states move toward collecting sales tax on out of state purchases, those of us who also pay use tax will be getting taxed twice. The honest people are going to get screwed if states don't simultaneously eliminate the collection of use tax.

Re:Jerks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41241151)

Says the person posting under Anonymous Coward.

Hit yourself in the head law (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 2 years ago | (#41241395)

When the government passes a law that says, "you must hit yourself in the head until you get a good headache", and the people don't obey, don't blame the people.

I'm not a radical libertarian who believes the government should just curl up and die; but there's smart government and there's stupid government. Requiring customers to tax themselves after the point of sale, and expecting anything other than massive non-compliance is stupid government par excellance.

Re:Jerks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41241699)

Between income tax, property tax, sales tax, and other taxes and taxes relabeled as "fees", I pay about $70,000 in taxes per year. Excuse the fuck out of me if I am happy to get a printer on Amazon without throwing *yet another* $20 to the government so they can blow up some brown people or stake a claim on some more oil or subsidize a church that doesn't have to pay taxes.

Great (4, Insightful)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 2 years ago | (#41240677)

which estimates it will see an additional $317 million annually as a result

And will be instantly pissed away on corruption and bullshit and the bond payments for the initial funding for that idiotic "high speed" train which is really just a welfare project for high paid political cronies to sit around on boards and committees.

Re:Great (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41240845)

The truth shouldn't be downvoted.

Re:Great (-1, Troll)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 years ago | (#41240849)

If only CA could do something useful with the money, like create some of the world's best public universities. But such a backwards state could never create anything like UC Berkeley...

Re:Great (2)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 2 years ago | (#41241003)

Oh, well, there's a few good schools. No need to try and fight the corruption and waste and bullshit elsewhere, then! I have seen the light!

Seriously, your response was almost a complete non sequitur.

Re:Great (-1, Troll)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 years ago | (#41241145)

Well, insufficient funding for public education is one of the main problems currently facing California, so it seems relevant to me, in response to your lazy right-wing barb.

Re:Great (1)

Firehed (942385) | about 2 years ago | (#41241449)

Insufficient funding for public education would be fixed if CA could manage it's budget, and stop pissing away my taxes on ridiculous expenses. As would the awful roads, poor public transportation, and any other number of things.

Re:Great (2, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 years ago | (#41241491)

If you show me where I can sign to reduce the ridiculous prison spending, I'll sign ASAP.

We could start by repealing the absurd drug criminalization, and the 3-strikes law.

Re:Great (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about 2 years ago | (#41241675)

>> We could start by repealing the absurd drug criminalization, and the 3-strikes law.

I'll drink to that!

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41241549)

Well, insufficient funding for public education is one of the main problems currently facing California, so it seems relevant to me, in response to your lazy right-wing barb.

Last year they opened a $578 million dollar high school [huffingtonpost.com] .

Just imagine what they could do with sufficient funding.

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41241017)

CA hardly funds these universities. They have been self-sufficient for quite sometime now.

Re:Great (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 2 years ago | (#41241207)

Well, some are. The CSU system is a public system in contrast to the mostly private UC system. Go Trojans! ... Yeah, I actually have no school spirit. ;-) I consider my degrees to be pure business transactions. I paid money and they gave me head stuff and a valuable parchment.

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41241119)

They created some of the best public universities ***AND*** Berkeley? It must have taken a lot of work to do both.

Re:Great (0)

Kohath (38547) | about 2 years ago | (#41241091)

Be fair. They'll also be paying former government workers' bloated pensions. Which will help no one who needs any government services today.

Re:Great (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 2 years ago | (#41241163)

That's all part of the problem, but, damn, you try and argue this stuff with, say, a hard core Progressive, and, oh my, I want to starve the elderly and abolish fire departments and feed children to the coyotes and, holy moly the hyperbole out of those folks! It's like talking church/state separation with evangelical neocons.

Ideology is a mind cancer that is going to kill civilization.

Re:Great (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#41241267)

which estimates it will see an additional $317 million annually as a result

And will be instantly pissed away on corruption and bullshit and the bond payments for the initial funding for that idiotic "high speed" train which is really just a welfare project for high paid political cronies to sit around on boards and committees.

- yes, but it won't be 317Million annually any more than what the FaceBook supposed taxes were going to bring to CA.

It's simple - the taxes, they won't collect them because people won't buy as much from CA with these taxes, they'll find a way to get around them one way or another. Arizona is nearby [abc15.com] and I see a business opportunity in Arizona to CA delivery for a fraction of the tax fee.

No thanks (0, Troll)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) | about 2 years ago | (#41240699)

I avoid paying anything to the state of California, whenever possible. They only waste the money on pork and stuff nobody needs.

They also apparently haven't been paying attention to how all of this is going to shake out. Two towns in California are going to get huge amazon warehouses, and those two towns are getting the balance of the sales tax revenue, and they're giving most of it back to Amazon.

So California, amazon and those two towns will spend millions to collect next to nothing.

And I'll be buying from someone other than amazon from now on, unless amazon lowers their prices by 9% to suit.

Re:No thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41240837)

Don't need BACON?

Re:No thanks (1)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) | about 2 years ago | (#41241153)

Don't need BACON?

Wrong bunny.

Re:No thanks (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 2 years ago | (#41240885)

Any tax money amazon gets, they'd get anyway. If $9 more breaks the bank on a $100 purchase then you shouldn't be spend the $100 anyway.

Re:No thanks (2)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) | about 2 years ago | (#41241073)

Any tax money amazon gets, they'd get anyway. If $9 more breaks the bank on a $100 purchase then you shouldn't be spend the $100 anyway.

You're starting to sound like my wife.

Frankly, I buy 10% more than I would if I were universally taxed. What do you think does more for the economy...me and a brazillion other people spending a little extra to build and deliver things, or giving that money to the California legislators to build that high speed rail that starts near nothing and ends near nothing and that almost nobody will ever ride?

Re:No thanks (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 2 years ago | (#41241083)

Actually, someone else who does not apply CA tax, will get the business. If I get a $700 laptop, the tax would be 70 dollars (Recycling tax+tax in my county is 9.25%). I would rather buy it from one of the other online retailers.

Re:No thanks (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about 2 years ago | (#41240933)

And I'll be buying from someone other than amazon from now on, unless amazon lowers their prices by 9% to suit.

I suspect you'll just buy from whoever has the lower total price, just like 99.99% of customers. In some cases Amazon would still win even at +9% because of their aggressive discounting.

Re:No thanks (1)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) | about 2 years ago | (#41241085)

And I'll be buying from someone other than amazon from now on, unless amazon lowers their prices by 9% to suit.

I suspect you'll just buy from whoever has the lower total price, just like 99.99% of customers. In some cases Amazon would still win even at +9% because of their aggressive discounting.

You underestimate how much I enjoy not giving my money to California.

Re:No thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41241225)

It's beyond enjoyment here. It's a way of life to pay as little as possible in taxes to California or any other entity.

Re:No thanks (1)

PTBarnum (233319) | about 2 years ago | (#41241673)

So why would it make any difference if Amazon lowered their prices? California would still be getting its cut.

Re:No thanks (1)

noh8rz8 (2716593) | about 2 years ago | (#41240971)

The's another dynamic here. Imagine if you're a brick and mortar store trying to compete with amazon. Not only do they have low overhead, high volumes, etc, but they have a 10% price break from no sales taxes. How can you compete with that? this levels the playing field a little bit. Inb4 brick and mortar is a fail: remember that they provide al people jobs in California, so if we can make brick and mortar more competitive with online (at least by removing artificial barriers) then it is good for the state.

Re:No thanks (4, Insightful)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) | about 2 years ago | (#41241053)

The's another dynamic here. Imagine if you're a brick and mortar store trying to compete with amazon. Not only do they have low overhead, high volumes, etc, but they have a 10% price break from no sales taxes. How can you compete with that? this levels the playing field a little bit. Inb4 brick and mortar is a fail: remember that they provide al people jobs in California, so if we can make brick and mortar more competitive with online (at least by removing artificial barriers) then it is good for the state.

B&M stores can't compete anyhow. If I want something, chances are I'd have to go to five stores to find it, and it'd be 20% more than I could buy the item for online. After I spent $5 worth of gas looking for it. Once again, no thanks.

Why level the playing field? Amazon has a very good business going that employs a lot of people. B&M stores that only stock a slice of what I want are yesterdays old moldy news.

You have seen the story about how amazon intends to deliver about 50-70% of their items the same day as ordered? They're already working with a van service here in the southwest and I've been happy with their deliveries so far.

Oh, and all of the grocery stores near me will pull and deliver an order for free. One did it so the rest had to follow suit.

Seems like the wave is moving away from lots of stores that don't have what I want to a bunch of giant warehouses and guys that bring the stuff to my house. But lets fark that up by 'leveling the playing field', which in my experience means cutting the legs out of someone doing a good job and handing them to someone that wants to screw those legs to the top of their head.

Re:No thanks (1)

Keith111 (1862190) | about 2 years ago | (#41241689)

California double taxes us anyway. 10% state income tax and 10% sales tax. Assholes. (Yes I realize one is federal one is state. Not the point.)

Re:No thanks (1)

wulfmans (794904) | about 2 years ago | (#41241813)

Guess you could try to get it right. State income tax goes to the state, There is a fixed state sales tax that goes to the state and some counties and cities also add some sales tax to sales in their counties. I lived there for most of my life and glad to not live there anymore.

Still need more money (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41240713)

So that means Cali is still over 15 billion over budget. Well lets see if all of the progressive voters there will vote themselves another tax hike in November.

Re:Still need more money (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 2 years ago | (#41241027)

And all that will get pissed away, or affect the economy to the point where revenues actually decrease.

Notice how any criticism of the California government is modded down now?

I don't even live in California (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41240715)

And I'm buying like KRAZY!!!

They'll get out of paying... (1)

Volshebnyj Molotok (1855270) | about 2 years ago | (#41240805)

Do the government officials in California truly believe that the larger retailers (Amazon) won't find a way to circumvent this legislation, just as they avoid paying federal taxes? Microsoft pays a very small fraction of the state taxes they technically should owe the state of Washington, for example, as Apple does in California. Granted, they aren't retailers in the same sense as Amazon et al, but they do have a good percentage of online retail income.

Re:They'll get out of paying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41241037)

Do the government officials in California truly believe that the larger retailers (Amazon) won't find a way to circumvent this legislation, just as they avoid paying federal taxes?

I think there is already a plan for that.
Aren't they getting subsidies from the state to build new warehouses?

Re:They'll get out of paying... (2)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 2 years ago | (#41241061)

They don't care. All they want is more money and more power. If this bombs they'll pass something else.

People need to stop looking at politicians as beings with feelings and consciences.

Honestly, this state cannot go bankrupt soon enough, or whatever happens when we reach that point. Federal receivership or handle the bankruptcy one county at a time. Whatever.

Be honest. (1)

Shivetya (243324) | about 2 years ago | (#41241233)

They get out of collecting taxes for the Federal and State governments. Why should retailers be forced to take the scorn over the tax system?

Business pays no tax, ever. They collect it. Those good at not collecting it somehow are guilty of something, not sure what.

It is called indirect taxation and if Americans truly understood how much that really costs them those jerks in government, the true one percents, would be out of a job.

Instead they are masters of misdirection, vilifying businesses for not collecting taxes on their behalf. Be up front and honest about, take the true cost of government from every citizen just so they know how badly they are getting soaked.

States with no sales tax (1)

RicktheBrick (588466) | about 2 years ago | (#41240821)

There are states that do not have sales tax. I believe that Alaska is one of them. So what would happen if someone in Alaska would purchase an item and than give that item to someone in a state that did have a sales tax? With automobiles it is easy since that automobile must be registered in the state of residency the sales tax is collected when registering that automobile. I recently purchased a used car and I had to pay sales tax on it. I payed $10,000 for a car that was sold for $16,000 so the state received $960 from the original owner plus $600 from me. Depending on how many times the car is sold the state could get more from taxes than the original sales price. Now with items that are not registered, if someone would purchase a expensive television who lived in Alaska and had it shipped to someone in Michigan, that someone would not have to pay the 6% sales tax in Michigan. So someone could establish in Alaska to purchase expensive items in Alaska and have them shipped to an address in Michigan and charge 2% and both would profit from it. What is needed is a common sales tax for every state.

Re:States with no sales tax (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 years ago | (#41240897)

The sales tax in Alaska is regional rather than statewide, so depends on where you live. Of the two biggest cities, Juneau charges a 5% sales tax, while Anchorage has no sales tax.

Re:States with no sales tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41240945)

Some people already do this. For fedex & UPS shipments they have it shipped to a friend in a tax free neighboring state. As soon as it is shipped they call them up and ask for it to be held at a Fedex/UPS location near them.

Re:States with no sales tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41241049)

Sales and use tax is the catch here. If you go up to Oregon (closest to CA that I know of w/o sales tax) and buy a TV and bring it back, you're supposed to pay the equivalent of sales tax (as a use tax) on that item. Exactly as it's supposed to work currently with self-reported purchases from out-of-state retailers.

Re:States with no sales tax (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about 2 years ago | (#41241357)

So what would happen if someone in Alaska would purchase an item and than give that item to someone in a state that did have a sales tax? With automobiles it is easy since that automobile must be registered in the state of residency the sales tax is collected when registering that automobile.

There are efforts to monitor state border of New Hampshire (no sales tax) for anyone trying to buy anything major (cars, electronics, etc.) and take it across the border -- not sure how exactly.

Most stores at the border have limits to how many packs of cigarets you can buy in one go.

Re:States with no sales tax (1)

xquercus (801916) | about 2 years ago | (#41241751)

There are efforts to monitor state border of New Hampshire (no sales tax) for anyone trying to buy anything major (cars, electronics, etc.) and take it across the border

Regarding vehicles, in the states I've lived in, if you bring in a car from out of state you have to prove you have owned it for a relatively long period of time (say 12 months). Otherwise, they collect state sales tax when the vehicle is registered/licensed.

Re:States with no sales tax (1)

SSpade (549608) | about 2 years ago | (#41241573)

The person in the state that received it would (in most states) be committing tax fraud.

how many millions has california spent to collect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41240823)

how many millions has California spent (in manpower, in legal bills, etc) to 'win' this money? how many years of this will it take to break even?

and now that things will cost more, how much less will California consumers spend (both with Amazon and from local stores)

Re:how many millions has california spent to colle (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | about 2 years ago | (#41240893)

It may not change much. If Amazon is opening more warehouses in California, it can offset the negative perception from taxes by making it easier to get free or at least fast shipping. In the former case, it cuts Amazon's shipping costs so they can offer up more things for free. In the latter case, people are very happy to get things next- or second-day when they paid for longer delivery times. This was originally a major reason for me to start buying from NewEgg as a lot of the Southern California area gets items the next day from the warehouse in Industry, near Los Angeles.

Re:how many millions has california spent to colle (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 2 years ago | (#41241111)

I was thinking a similar thing. You can get standard shipping free normally, but maybe offer a free Amazon Prime-like account to states that demand the sales tax with free two day shipping.

On the other hand, I tend to get things from Amazon in a couple days even with standard free ("super saver") shipping anyway.

Re:how many millions has california spent to colle (1)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) | about 2 years ago | (#41241347)

how many millions has California spent (in manpower, in legal bills, etc) to 'win' this money? how many years of this will it take to break even?

and now that things will cost more, how much less will California consumers spend (both with Amazon and from local stores)

Ding Ding Ding, we have another winnar!

They'll get almost nothing. Most of it will go to two towns where amazon is building warehouses, and those towns are giving amazon most of the money to get them to build there.

So we the people will have a lot of their tax money spent collecting and redistributing the tax income, but very little of that will actually go to the state level. So they spent all of that (our) money getting next to nothing, and amazon and those two towns are smarter than Jerry and the CA legislation. Of course, the latter don't really care, as long as money is pouring over the sides of the ship and they can spend like drunken sailors.

Hey, the boom economy never ended here in CA. Ask our politicians, who have steadily increased spending on more and more stupid things as the economy has sagged.

Is that 317 million before or after expenses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41240883)

Is that $317 million before or after all the court costs, the lawyer, the cost of dealing with out of state tax collection, the cost of trying to collect from companies that refuse, etc, etc?

Seems like after all that you'd barely be left with a profit on a state-wide level...

Re:Is that 317 million before or after expenses? (1)

luther349 (645380) | about 2 years ago | (#41241445)

does it really matter. it will just be spent on high class hookers and cars, you will not see a dime and they will still say they have no money.

Amazon not the only place that's tax-free (1)

schwit1 (797399) | about 2 years ago | (#41241121)

Every tax-free online store is now going to advertise this fact.

Distinction, please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41241297)

There are two entirely different types of tax that can be assigned to products sold to end-users: sales tax, and use tax.

Use tax is supposed to be self-enforced, as in the consumers are responsible for monitoring and remitting their tax; however, it is at the selling companies behest if they wish to act as the middle man, collect use tax on the sale, and then remit said tax to the collecting state (thereby removing the customer's requirement to self-remit).

Sales tax, on the other hand, is imposed on the selling business and is a requirement for any business with a nexus (physical presence) in the state to collect and remit. Internet companies have been legally avoiding sales tax by claiming no nexus and having their company located in one of the five states that collects no sales tax (Oregon, Delaware, et al.).

Where I am confused is, what scenario is specifically at play here? Is Amazon now remitting CA tax because they established nexus in CA via the two warehouses, or have they decided to voluntarily remit use tax on behalf of the customer, or are they doing the unprecedented and remitting sales tax that they are not obligated to collect whatsoever? To me this is the key part of the story but is not expanded upon in the article or summary.

Re:Distinction, please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41241497)

Anyone who understands the founding principals of this country knows that refusal to pay an unfair tax is a right. The use tax is patently unfair, and the people have collectively spoken by mostly refusing to pay it. Any attempt to enforce the use tax would require a massive increase in our already overburdened "justice" system. Stick a fork in use tax. It's done.

Re:Distinction, please? (1)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) | about 2 years ago | (#41241507)

Easy. Amazon has no presence in california, so they never had to collect sales tax. California passed legislation that made affiliates (people who list amazon products on their personal site, often with reviews and 'how-to's and received payment for a click through) were employees, so amazon had employees in the state and had to collect tax.

So amazon 'fired' all of their affiliates, many of which set up fronts in Oregon or other states and continued as before, but many also threw in the towel, costing california jobs and job income.

Then the state said they'd pass endless streams of legislation until amazon bowed. We've spent millions on this crap.

So amazon got two towns to agree to hand over most of the sales tax revenue which will come their way, and is building warehouses there. Sales tax revenue goes mostly to the physical place where the transaction occurred, which is the warehouse town in this instance. So after spending millions and tying up legislature time pursuing the matter, the state will receive maybe 20-30mil of that 300-something discussed in the original article. At least the rest will go to jobs in those two towns, mostly poor hispanic people.

But then quite a few of the people in surrounding states that work at warehouses that amazon only set up to ship quickly into california will lose their jobs. Won't be needed anymore.

So some benefit to california, at the cost of its neighbors. Nearly zero budget relief. This is what I've come to expect from our state political machine...a lot of noise, a lot of movement...but nothing much happens at the end.

Re:Distinction, please? (1)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) | about 2 years ago | (#41241515)

I'm sorry, on reflection I could have been more succinct.

California extorted Amazon into entering into a taxation agreement.

Just like they're going to do to the voters later this year.

Who cares? (2)

hsmith (818216) | about 2 years ago | (#41241371)

Honestly, when VA starts collecting sales tax from Amazon it will have zero impact on my buying decisions from them.

I buy from Amazon because it is easy and convenient. With Prime, things are delivered right to the door within a day or two. When same day shipping is there, there will be virtually no where else I'll need to shop.

Sales tax? BFD.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41241443)

VA tax is usually 5%. CA ends up at 10%. You might think different if it you had to pay 10% or may be not.

Re:Who cares? (1)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) | about 2 years ago | (#41241535)

Sales tax? BFD.

I spend approximately $17,000 a year at Amazon. My state tax load would be a bit over $1500 per year.

Which qualifies it for a serious BFD in this household.

No biggie. There are usually 4-5 online companies with prices within a few percent of each other. I usually give amazon the nod because of their good customer service, return policy, fast shipping and competitive prices. Add 9% to those prices and I'm buying from one of the other 3-4 who don't.

http://crismic.com.au/ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41241605)

Fridge repair Melbourne
Crismic is a well experienced company in fridge repair service throughout Melbourne including services like freezer repair, industrial freezer repair and commercial fridge repair.

US Constitution, Section 9, Paragraph 5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41241737)

Blanket "Internet Sales Taxes" are ILLEGAL under the US Constitution because they attempt to tax articles exported from one state to another.

US Constitution, Section 9, Paragraph 5:

"No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State."

Notice that the prohibition is not limited to any particular KIND of tax. No matter what they call the tax ( "use" tax, "sales" tax, "luxury" tax, "sin" tax, etc...), it cannot be applied to any article shipped across state lines. Period. And anything short of a Constitutional Amendment simply cannot change this.

Amazon is leaving itself vulnerable to lawsuits and criminal charges by illegally imposing taxes on items shipped across state lines.

Re:US Constitution, Section 9, Paragraph 5 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41241821)

But it's the Constitution, nobody uses that anymore.

excessively burdensome to merchants (2)

lophophore (4087) | about 2 years ago | (#41241837)

This is the beginning of the end for sales-tax evading commerce of all kinds, e-commerce, telephone ordering, and order by mail. It is the beginning of the end for the small and mid size non-store commerce businesses.

As every state, county, and other municipalities pile on to demanding these non-store merchants collect their sales taxes, the merchants are going to be faced with a very difficult task: keeping track of the tax rate where the purchase is delivered, and then remitting those funds to the appropriate government agency. Consider a city dwelling consumer, who is liable for city, county, and state sales taxes. The merchant must know how much to collect from each customer based on the delivery address, and will need to maintain separate accounting for every district that they must remit the collected taxes to.

This is going to be very expensive, and guess who pays? Mr. Customer. It will also be very damaging to small and medium size non-store retailers, who will not be able to afford the systems to administer collecting for tens of thousands of different tax regions.

There needs to be a better solution, one that can scale, one that is acceptable to both the merchants and the tax-collecting government.

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