Friday, September 23, 2011

LA Times: Governor expected to sign Amazon.com sales tax collection bill

Gov. Jerry Brown expected to sign Amazon sales tax collection bill

by Marc Lifsher, September 22, 2011 |  5:52 pm
The Los Angeles Times

Amazon
Photo: An Amazon distribution center in Goodyear, Ariz. Credit: Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press 


A bill that would require Amazon.com and many other out-of-state Internet retailers to collect sales tax on purchases by Californians is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, according to people in the Legislature familiar with plans for the event.

The governor has scheduled a signing ceremony for Friday at 11 a.m. at the San Francisco headquarters of Gap Inc., a clothing manufacturer and retailer that lobbied along with other California companies for passage of the bill, AB 155 by Assemblyman Charles Calderon (D-Whittier).

The governor's office would say only that Brown would be in San Francisco to "take action on legislation critical to job creation in California."

The so-called Amazon bill is expected to boost employment in a number of ways. Proponents said it would save jobs at shopping malls and on Main Street by creating "a level playing field" between bricks-and-mortar retailers, such as Gap, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp., and Amazon and other Internet sellers.

Brown's signature on the bill, which would take full effect Sept. 15 of next year, could also boost employment if Amazon follows through on a tentative plan to open new distribution centers in California that would be staffed by thousands of new hires.

To date, Amazon has avoided opening offices and warehouses in California because it did not want to have any physical presence in the state. Such facilities would have forced Amazon to give up its past exemption from being required to collect sales taxes as laid out in a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

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