East Bay Lawmaker Wants Amazon To Charge Sales Tax

OAKLAND (CBS/KCBS) — An East Bay Assemblywoman is looking to collect taxes she claims are owed to California.

Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner wants to pass legislation to effectively force Amazon to start collecting sales tax in California and then transfer those funds to the state treasury.

“With California’s economy hurting the way it is, it’s not fair to hurt our small businesses that have played by the rules,” said Skinner.

Some have called the way Amazon’s model is set up — a tax evasion scheme.

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

Out of state retailers must collect state sales tax if they have a presence in the state, so Borders and Barnes & Noble charge sales tax to their online customers in California. Amazon does not.

“I haven’t spoke to our new governor about it, but I would hope that he would see that our California businesses are being put at a real disadvantage right now,” Skinner added.

Skinner’s legislation has the support of the California Retailers Association, Home Depot, Macy’s, JC Penny and independent booksellers.

She estimates if the legislation passes it would bring in at minimum $300 million and hopes to introduce it within the next few weeks.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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