Poll: Amazon.com Sales Tax Begins Saturday; Should We Have to Pay?

The online retailer will levy state tax on mail-order purchases beginning Sept. 15. Are you going on a shopping spree before then, or are you happy to see the change?

If you've got items sitting in your Amazon shopping cart that you've not yet purchased, you might want to consider moving into the checkout line.

Friday is the last day to buy from the online retailer tax-free: Amazon will begin charging sales tax on purchases for California residents this Saturday. Sales tax in the region varies, including 8.75 percent in Los Angeles.

Up to now, buying online at Amazon.com saved customers money, since no sales tax was collected.

But state lawmakers in California—a state which desperately needs cash—reached an agreement last year with online retailers, including Amazon, that agreed to begin collecting a sales tax in September. Those sale tax funds will be returned to the state.

According to the LA Times, about half of the projected $316 million raised in the first full year, and put into state coffers, is expected to come from merchandise sold by Amazon.

The agreement between Amazon and California may not last long. The Orange County Register reports that the agreement between the two parties was primarily a compromise meant to get a year's reprieve in collecting the tax in exchange for promises to add jobs and distribution centers in California.

Increased prices for online purchases is welcome relief for brick-and-mortar stores, who feel the playing field for customers will be a bit more level.

CNNMoney says Amazon already charges sales tax in six states: Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Washington. Pennsylvania will join California in sales tax charges in September. New Jersey, Virginia, Indiana, Nevada, Tennessee and South Carolina are all expected to collect state sales taxes from online retailers within the next few years, adding millions to state accounts.

States estimate they lose $23 billion in annual sales taxes, some $11.5 billion of it from online purchases, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Meanwhile, Seattle-based Amazon has been expanding its physical presence in California, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The Chronicle says that in June, it leased 83,000 square feet just south of San Francisco's Financial District, and is close to signing a deal for 600,000 square feet in Sunnyvale.

Amazon is also expected to open two California fulfillment centers that will employ at least 1,000 workers each in San Bernardino and Patterson.

If you're interested in applying for those jobs, Amazon has set up a website to receive applications.

Do you think paying sales taxes on Amazon purchases is fair? Will it affect your shopping habits? Share your thoughts in the comments.

frank van neutra lautner September 16, 2012 at 04:59 AM
It's amazing how few people really understand how national debt is basically nothing like household debt... unless your household can print money and owes most of it's debts to itself. Furthermore, most household with home mortgages have debt well in excess of 100% of one year of household income while very few have accumulated assets worth more than 600% of their annual income. And BTW, has anyone noticed that after the US's credit rating was downgraded, thanks to the Teapublican manufactured crisis in the House of Representatives, the US government has been locking in record-low borrowing costs?
The MOG September 16, 2012 at 05:14 AM
Oh Scott, ya know I realize that after decades of Vietnam & The War On Poverty, Pres. Carter labored under a double digit Rate Of Inflation, and comparitively we have a moderate rate of inflation, which The Fed tries to control through monetary policy, interest rates & money supply. Their answer has been to rev up the printing presses, pumping ever more cash into circulation. This is called Inflation, there's no debate about it. YOU may swallow everything the Democratic Party shoves down your throat (WITHOUT GAGGING), but Independent Voters, LIKE MYSELF, like to put our thinking caps on! Foriegn Governments (some our competitors) buy up our dollars, because most nations trade in them. Russia & China, have been working to end this US advantage,(this is why the numbers aren't reflected in the Inflation Rate-it's kept ARTIFICIALLY Low) and all it takes is those Gov. to stop accepting $$, & then, not only will we have exploding rates of inflation across the board, we will have HyperInflation- you can hoard gold, but when Food Stuff can't reach the marketplace, you can not eat gold! No one is going to give you a wheelbarrel of cash to buy an ounce of Gold. The sales tax hurts those who can least afford it. Gas has doubled since Obama has been Pres. If you don't feel that, you must be very fortunate. But 43 mil Amer on Food Stamps, Historic Rates Of Poverty for blacks & hispanics, 46 mil out of work, & RISING PRICES tell the sad tale of failure. Don't tell ME we can't do better!
The MOG September 16, 2012 at 05:30 AM
Oh yeah, that IS brillent! You are a Genuis frank van neutra lautner! You have nailed it on the head! Republicans=Bad, Evil, Haters, Racists, Greedy Money Grubbers! Democrats = Good, Everything Righteous & Benign, Generous (albeit with other people's hard earned cash). I've got it now. Thanks, Frank. Gee how long did it take to figure that all out? I've been stuck on Thomas Jefferson's quote about it being immoral for one generation to leave a debt for the next. Thereby robbing them of their inheritance, and burdening them with the bills of their forebearers. What a fool I've been. Jefferson aint got nothing on YOU, brother! Right on, frank!
frank van neutra lautner September 16, 2012 at 02:49 PM
That's it, get all of your anger and rage out there, Thomas Jefferson... er... I mean, MOG.
The MOG September 16, 2012 at 02:57 PM
I'm NOT angry, Frank. In fact my tounge is placed firmly in cheek. Seriously though, I find it utterly amazing that your last post suggest that run away debt incurred by government is no big deal, and that a low interest rate (the cost of borrowing) is desirable. As opposed to having a balanced budget, and a strong dollar. YOU may not mind being accessed ever increasing, & new Taxes to finance failed administration policies, I am not so inclined.
nonoise September 16, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Frank, a certain amount of debt is fine. But Obama spent more in 4 years than Bush spent in 8 and with 2 wars. Yes, a certain amount of debit is fine. But the debt under Obama is way, way, way, way out of control. And, where did the money go? It went to local city and state budgets that were broke and just helped balanced their budgets. That is only a temporary fix for their budgets because sooner or later they will go broke. And, now the money is gone and there are no new jobs, it only helped saved a few jobs but those will soon be lost too. Government should not be trying to save cities and states and companies from going bankrupt, which is going to happen anyway because of waste and mispending, governments and businesses should not be bailed out. They should go bankrupt and then allowed to restructure and hopefully come back. The government does no one any favors by not allowing the free market to work. It only allows waste and poor management to continue.
frank van neutra lautner September 16, 2012 at 04:33 PM
I'm not going to waste more time on your drivel but lets get one thing straight here now: I never said or suggested that run away debt incurred by government is no big deal, not now and not when the dude from Connecticut who wears the cowboy hat and clears brush you probably voted for not once but twice was in office. Speaking of failed administration policies, holly smoke!
frank van neutra lautner September 16, 2012 at 04:44 PM
nonoise, suggested reading: http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2012/06/01/Whos-the-Biggest-Spender-Obama-or-Bush.aspx#page1 http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/the-reality-behind-obama-and-bushs-spending-binge/2012/05/25/gJQAK8ItpU_blog.html http://money.cnn.com/2012/06/22/news/economy/obama-spending/index.htm http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/may/23/facebook-posts/viral-facebook-post-says-barack-obama-has-lowest-s/ http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/03/19/446990/obama-bush-reagan-government-spending/?mobile=nc And this relates: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/06/01/493849/obama-bush-jobs-record/
nonoise September 16, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Look at who is writing the articles too. The comments are interesting. It is not the rate of spending it is the amount of spending. Obama has a deficit 5 times the amount that Bush had.
frank van neutra lautner September 16, 2012 at 05:16 PM
"It is not the rate of spending it is the amount of spending." LOL... And when the rate is down but the amount is way up what does that relationship between the two tell you?
frank van neutra lautner September 16, 2012 at 05:19 PM
BTW, I'm seeing all here who still believes in that claptrap AKA "supply side economics".
me September 16, 2012 at 06:46 PM
can't the WEST HOLLYWOOD PATCH cut the cord on this NON-LOCAL story?.....
Niles Akbar September 16, 2012 at 06:57 PM
"Poll: Amazon.com Sales Tax Begins Saturday; Should We Have to Pay?" Hmm... Which part of this California-wide issue is NOT local to West Hollywood?
The MOG September 16, 2012 at 08:50 PM
It tells ME that the Fed's responce of running the printing presses 24/7 has severly depressed the value of a dollar, & risks HyperInflation...the point I've been making. Thanks for concurring, btw. Of course I agree w/ nonoise. She obviously knows how things work... and, FYI, I am a regestered Green. I voted for Cynthia McKinney last time around ( and Kerry, before that). You see, I believe in voting my stated principles. I am in favor of Peace, Equality, & Social Justice. The Modern Democratic Party doesn't believe in those things. They don't fight for the People, has they once did, decades ago. I'm a fiscal conservative. I don't believe in throwing good money after bad. I don't believe that government can engage in taxzation without representation. (We fought a revolution over that.) Educate yourself on where the bulk of your taxes go, you might think differently about giving gov. carte blanche w/ your pocket book. Then again, you may one of these folks who don't mind working for gov., but most Americans realize gov. is there for the People's benefit, & not the other way around... That's all. You can go ahead and post another insulting comment if you like!
frank van neutra lautner September 16, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Niles, you must not be familiar with the West Hollywood secession movement.
The MOG September 16, 2012 at 11:42 PM
Perhaps many in W. Hollywood are like Niles, and don't really think a little thing like sales tax pertains very much to them. If you are well off, 8.16%, or even 10% added value to your total out of pocket cost will hardly be noticable. As opposed to being a minority, in an economically depressed area, you'd be accutely aware of that those extra "pennies", added on to the end of it, come from very few, & hard to come by dollars. Of course, the poor are hardly likely to buy OnLine. They're SOL out da gate. I only buy OnLine items I can not buy "locally", that is N.E.L.A., where I reside. Anything I can't find in my neighborhood, I can find DownTown, or in Pasadena. Niles probably assumes the $$ he chips in to gov. go to paying for "services". He doesn't think about gov. pensions, or gov. wastefulness, etc. Him & his like couldn't be less concerned with the "cost of living", or the effects of regressive taxes on the less well-off. Afterall, he probably voted for Obama ( probably thought it was real cool too, That Obama!). So, what's the problem? Why should Niles be concerned with a silly little sale tax. If you don't want to pay the flippin tax, don't buy the item! He'd be right, too. No one has a god given right to shop duty-free. Or do they?
Niles Akbar September 16, 2012 at 11:48 PM
With all your smarts, you somehow got the OPPOSITE MESSAGE from my posting, MOG. I think ever-expanding government and it's lust for more and more tax revenue are terrible realities in America. We are on the same page, dude, apology accepted.
The MOG September 17, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Niles, we certainly are on the same page. You said it better than I, "ever-expanding government and it's lust for more and more tax revenue ". I admire your passion, sir. I beg your pardon.
Jinx September 17, 2012 at 12:54 AM
America - born free, taxed to death. -Ben Franklin
Niles Akbar September 17, 2012 at 01:00 AM
All good, these people are eating us alive. "As of April, 46 million Americans, more than one in seven, were receiving assistance. Its annual cost meanwhile has risen from $17 billion in 2000 to $78 billion as of last year." (http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/story/2012-07-04/SNAP-farm-bill-food-stamps/56020262/1) Like to be green? Like sustainability? Well this situation is not sustainable!
frank van neutra lautner September 17, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Try Somalia. BTW, that's not a Ben Franklin quote.
frank van neutra lautner September 17, 2012 at 01:08 AM
Quoting a friend here: "I've never understood how otherwise intelligent people have no grasp of citizenship and society. How people can believe that they exist in a vacuum and dont want to pay for the things that make America the amazing place that allowed them to take advantage of their hard work and talent."
hellwood September 17, 2012 at 01:40 AM
according to the post above, about 14% of americans are freeloaders. maybe paying taxes would be more fun if the people that worked hard knew that these handouts were going to stop? apparently america has a reputation as the place to go to mooch, and being a bum has lucrative benefits for the minimalists
frank van neutra lautner September 17, 2012 at 06:47 AM
Your rant is weaving all over the road, hellwood. Do you mean freeloaders as in indigent children and elderly people?
TiOva September 21, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Hi Jose, I agree. I'm a regular Amazon shopper. Being a shut-in makes it easier for me to send gifts and receive other items without having to worry about getting transportation. I also live in an area where there are NO bookstores...at all...in my city. Tax or no, I'll keep on buying from Amazon. MissT
rasputin September 24, 2012 at 06:03 PM
During the 8 Republican years of George Bush, taxes were slashed for the wealthy, justified by supply side economics; i.e. 'trickle down'. Two wars were started and paid for by borrowing from China. Budgets were slashed at agencies that regulate, investigate, and pursue legal actions against individuals and corporations that game the 'free market' system. Laissez-faire regulators were put in charge (Christopher Cox at the S.E.C.). Tens of billions were given to friends of George (Halliburton, Blackwater and Rick Prince, etc.) Dick Cheney proclaimed "Debt does not matter." The Ponzi scheme came crashing down before Obama came into office. The Republicans crashed the car (750,000 jobs lost per month), and Obama was left to fix it. Sen Mitch McConnell (R-KY) openly declared Republicans would do everything they could to subvert Obama's efforts, and blocked virtually every agency and judicial appointment Obama tried to fill in order to cripple his administration. So I wonder where all these good people who complain about Obama were in the preceding 8 years when the boulder was being rolled toward the edge of the cliff. I seem to recall Fox News and Rush Limbaugh were on the airwaves and keeping us well-informed at the time. -- And BTW, who pays for the roads Amazon's delivery trucks roll on?
Niles Akbar September 24, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Ignore the leftist professional troll "rasputin."
Teddy Roosevelt VI September 24, 2012 at 07:53 PM
poor NIles, when faced with bad facts ignore them or blame the leftists or Kommie POTUS.....Cheney actually said "Deficits do not matter" that is until a Democrat came on deck. I recall Dubya encouraging people to pull equity out of their houses for travel or to buy a boat...hmmm how did that play out.....yes ignore Rasputin if you want, but the past FACTS & evets, you cant..last the WARS were off the books for 8 years, now they are ON..oops we owe more??? Call Sheldon!
rasputin September 24, 2012 at 08:01 PM
TR VI. Thanks for your corrections, additions - and support.
Niles Akbar September 24, 2012 at 08:37 PM
When does it EVER become Obama's job? Guantanamo? Still open and operating? Afghanistan? Still getting our soldiers killed every day - good job, Obama, NOT!. We still have, what, 25,000 US soldiers in Iraq in case you forgot. Economy? Yep, still in the toilet, as planned! Fast and Furious, yep, AG Holder in the clear. U.S Congresswoman Maxine Waters' corruption charges, all fixed. No prosecutions of the Wall Street scum that caused the economy to crash - same ayewholes are supporting Obama BIG TIME. Last but not least, the entire Obamacare is a disgusting union of government forcing you to buy health insurance from the same scummy insurance companies Obama claims to hate! Unvbelievable. Yes Bush sucked but so does Obama, the most responsibility-dodging president in US history. And yes, he is a socialist. There. I feel much better.


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