Amazon.com: Pay sales taxes | March 11, 2011 | Pleasanton Weekly | PleasantonWeekly.com |


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Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - March 11, 2011

Amazon.com: Pay sales taxes

Betty Yee of the state Board of Equalization is taking on amazon.com over its insistence that it's an out-of-state firm that ships directly to its California customers and doesn't need to pay sales taxes. And it hasn't. Yee's board estimates that the state's loss in unpaid sales taxes from amazon.com and Overstock.com, another large Internet retailer, is now at $200 million a year and growing. Buy a $1,500 flat screen TV from amazon.com and that's what you pay, with probably no charge on freight delivery to your home. Buy the same set at Best Buy, you lug it home yourself and also pay 9.75% in sales tax, the Alameda County rate. Adding roughly 10% to purchases at a local retailer gives Amazon and Overstock a competitive edge. That may be good for the buyer, but it's lousy for California and those of us who live here.

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