Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Amazon Tax Bill Is Gaining Favor Among S.F. Businesses

Posted By on Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 7:45 AM

Read the full story on your Kindle
  • Read the full story on your Kindle
Business leaders in San Francisco are supporting the same legislation that has made economic behemoths such as Amazon threaten to leave California.

AB155, also known as the Amazon tax bill, passed the Assembly this week and now awaits the state Senate's vote. If it becomes law, online retailers will have to collect sales tax from customers who make purchases via the Internet. As of now, only brick-and-mortar businesses are held accountable for the tax.

The new law means Amazon would have to collect those taxes on Kindle sales, since the electronic book is made right here in California. Obviously, Internet businesses aren't happy. They have long fought to push back this controversial bill, which would generate some $1.1 billion in revenue.

Now that this appears to be sailing through the Legislature, Amazon and other online companies, including, are threatening to leave the state. Moreover, Republicans, who vociferously oppose the bill, are worried about a flurry of lawsuits.

As Assemblyman Charles Calderon (D-Whittier), who authored the bill, told the Los Angeles Times: "If you oppose this bill, you support tax evasion and are antibusiness."

But Scott Hauge, president of Small Business California, says it's a matter of fairness. "Why should an Internet sale get a 9 to 10 percent pricing advantage over a brick-and-mortar?" he asks, referring to San Francisco's 9.5 percent sales tax.

What's best, he says, is that the bill would make it the seller's responsibility to report purchases -- not the buyer's.

Steve Cornell, who owns Brownies Hardware in Nob Hill, says he believes small and big businesses are ready to see this bill become state law.

"It's saying, hey, Internet people, do all the same things we're asking in-state people to do. Nothing more, nothing less," he says. "It's not just a bunch of small businesses crying. Companies like Macy's and Home Depot are all in favor of this particular legislation."

Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly 

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , , ,

About The Author

Taylor Friedman


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"