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Yesterday, a judicial watchdog coalition delivered a petition demanding that Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet and Republican Sen. Cory Gardner work together and ensure that the...
Struggling with an ongoing recession-era budget crisis that has seen hundreds of millions of dollars slashed from public education alone, Colorado lawmakers tried and failed to get mega-online retailer Amazon to pay state sales taxes last year. Amazon successfully dodged similar efforts in other states, but the tax man came calling in cash-strapped California last spring and, after dumping $5 million on a ballot initiative to oppose the new online tax law, Amazon announced on Wednesday it had made a deal with state lawmakers. It will charge sales tax in the Golden State next year. That gives Amazon and other online retailers just months to press federal lawmakers to pass a national law that thins their obligations in the states.
Colorado lawmakers staring down an historic recession budget deficit last year passed legislation requiring Amazon.com to finally begin collecting sales taxes in the state. It didn't go so well. Amazon is still doing business here tax free. A similar battle is waging now in California, only on a greater scale, drawing the eyes of politics and business watchers in Colorado and around the nation. The California case likely won't go as well for Amazon as the Colorado case did. Amazon does huge online business in California and it also has a physical presence in the state, for example in the Silicon Valley warehouse where it develops its Kindle readers. Indeed, the tide seems generally to be turning against the online retailer, which has grown massive over the past two decades, spreading its roots in the fertile ground of a tax-free internet fairyland.