Amazon wants California voters to reverse a new law that requires online retailers to collect sales tax on purchases made in that state. Amazon previously dropped its California affiliates in response to the law.
Amazon plans to put the question to California voters by way of a ballot measure. The company will need to get more than 400,000 signatures by late September. The statewide election is in early February.
California’s law, passed in June, requires online retailers to collect sales tax. The state hopes to generate $200 million in tax revenue. Other states that have passed “Amazon laws” include Arkansas, Connecticut and Illinois.
During a recent visit to Consumer Reports’ headquarters, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos argued that federal legislation is needed to rectify the issue.
“Our point-of-view on this is that we should simplify the sales tax system, and we’ve been insisting on this for 10 years,” he said. “We support the streamlined sales tax initiative, and 22 states have signed on. The right way to fix this is with federal legislation.”
Supporters of California’s law said it would put affiliates, who had not collected sales tax for business they forwarded to Amazon and other online retailers, on a level playing field with brick-and-mortar retailers.