In a recent Pew poll, 72 percent of Americans said that they were bothered by how complex the federal tax system is. These taxpayers are justified in their complaints: as of 2015, federal tax laws and regulations have...
- The Tax Policy Blog
- Amazon Tax Update: California and Tennessee Developments
Amazon Tax Update: California and Tennessee Developments
The debate over out-of-state retailers collecting sales taxes on purchases rolls on, with new developments on such “Amazon” taxes cropping up this week in both the Golden and Volunteer states. This week the California Board of Equalization held hearings on the implementation of the state’s recently passed version of the Amazon tax.
Despite a recent referendum by Amazon, the California State Board of Equalization moved to implement the tax yesterday with a three to two vote. The board directed staff members to get an opinion from the State Attorney General on how the referendum process may change the effectiveness of the tax.
That possible referendum, if supporters can collect the signatures to get it on the ballot, would put the issue of the tax before state voters. Recent polling finds that Californians are fairly closely split on the issue, opposing the tax only by a slim margin.
Several states over in Tennessee, an association of brick-and-mortar retailers has threatened to sue the state if governmental officials don’t require Amazon to start collecting sales taxes from in-state customers once two Amazon distribution facilities open.
In late May, the Amazon sales tax bill was postponed until next year in the General Assembly to give Cooper time to write his opinion. The bill sponsors say they are ready to come back with it in 2012 but also say they are willing to accept a compromise that exempts Amazon from having to collect the tax for two to three years. Hamilton and Bradley lawmakers say that flies in the face of the deal that was cut with Amazon to get them here.
Both Attorney General Jim White and state revenue officials have declined to offer a opinion on the dispute thus far.
Get Email Updates from the Tax Foundation
We will never sell or share your information with third parties.
Join the Tax Foundation's fight for sound tax policy Go
About the Tax Policy Blog
The Tax Policy Blog is the official blog of the Tax Foundation, a non-partisan, non-profit research organization that has monitored tax policy at the federal, state and local levels since 1937. Our economists welcome your feedback. If you would like to send an e-mail to the author of a blog post, please click on that person's name to locate his or her e-mail address or visit our staff page here.