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Jon Fleischman

Conservatives Are Not Of One Mind On The “Amazon Tax”

Lest we be accused of not sharing all perspectives on an issue, FR friend Rex Hime, President of the California Business Properties Association, sent this my way and I thought it worth sharing…  This concerns the so-called “Amazon Tax” that would require online retailers doing business in California to collect sales taxes and provide them to the state…

Republicans and conservatives from across the country oppose giving special treatment to a handful of online-only retailers like Amazon. A level playing field that gets government out of the business of picking winners and losers is the best strategy for growing small businesses and creating jobs.

Republicans across the nation have recognized that e-fairness is about creating a fair competitive market, and providing all businesses – large and small – opportunities to remain a cornerstone for American entrepreneurship.

In fact, when Governor Rick Perry signed the law and an overwhelmingly number of Texas Republican legislators passed e-fairness, the Texas Conservative Coalition went so far as to say in their analysis of the legislation, “This push [to gather back sales taxes from online companies] has been criticized by some as incompatible with conservative principles such as low taxation and free enterprise. These criticisms are misplaced. Amazon appears to fall squarely within the current law that requires a retailer to collect sales taxes if it does business in this it engages in regular or systematic solicitation of sales of taxable items in this state routinely e-mailing advertisements Texas customers.”

The Texas Conservative Coalition is not the only conservative voice, South Carolina’s Tea Party also advocated for e-fairness on the premise of creating jobs and not giving certain companies a special deal over others.

Conservative South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said, “Don’t ask us to give you sales tax relief when we’re not giving it to the book store down the street or we’re not giving it to the other stores on the other side of town, it’s just not a level playing field.” (To watch her speech, please Click Here.)

Just this week, in a letter to Florida Governor Rick Scott, former Governor Jeb Bush stated the following: “It seems to me there has to be a way to tax sales done online in the same way that sales are taxed in brick and mortar establishments,” Bush wrote to Scott. “My guess is that there would be hundreds of millions of dollars that then could be used to reduce taxes to fulfill campaign promises.” (“Look who wants to collect online sales taxes”, Orlando Sentinel, August 30)

The issue is clear. Republicans and conservatives across the country have actively supported e-fairness because it is the RIGHT thing to do. It’s time for the Republicans in the California State Legislature to support their local businesses and level the playing field once and for all.

2 Responses to “Conservatives Are Not Of One Mind On The “Amazon Tax””

  1. Rohit Joy Says:

    I agree with the sentiment here, but we must remember that TX, FL, and SC all have much lower sales tax rates than CA does, and that TX and FL both have ZERO personal income taxes. I’m not necessarily opposed to treating online sales the same way as brick-and-mortar sales, but I am opposed to ANY legislation that would add to our already-crushing tax burden here in CA.

    If Sen. Hancock had proposed across-the-board cuts in sales tax rates to offset the higher burden imposed by the Amazon tax, I might have been inclined to support this. However, the real purpose of this legislation is to confiscate more money from taxpayers so the Democrats can spend more on their government programs, so I am 100% opposed.

  2. Robert Bosich Says:

    Gov. Brown appears to want a form of state tariff/sales/income/distribution tax for companies selling products in California though they have little or no employees in California.

    Local retailers want sales taxes on internet sales even if a company has no presence in California….

    The end result will be more innovation and technology going into supply chain systems, free shipping, unreal marketing temptations that will make local business and sales/use tax collectors pine and beg for the good old days!!!!