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Amazon Shoppers: Sales Tax Begins Saturday

The online retailer will levy state tax on mail-order purchases beginning Sept. 15.

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. 

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, who 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.


Teller of Truth September 14, 2012 at 05:13 PM
@ConstantComment, now see what you've gone and done? It's going to take Martha all day to untwist her grannie panties since they got all twisted into a wad! Eww!
Constant Comment September 14, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Marfa, you alone have made the comments section nasty. We're only giving it right back at you. Doesn't feel good does it? If you can't take it, you shouldn't have put it out there in the first place. I will say when its time for this to stop. "Orders" implies that I'm being conntroled by someone else. I am in control, which is more than I can ever say about you. Whats so hard to believe that there are multitudes of people who just can't stand you? You do more damage to this community than anyone else. That is the only thing that needs to be squashed. You have never exchanged any intelligent ideas without being nasty to someone else. So go ahead & add hypocrite to your list of self promotion. We...."the Anti Marfa Brigade" will not be stopping any time soon! }~)
jill smith September 14, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Agree Bloomberg could care less about fat people. His actions are authoritarian and Anti American. If Obla blaa gets 4 more years this will escalate.
jill smith September 14, 2012 at 08:57 PM
My point exactly as you stated the public's lack of education is a big factor. Mrs Obama took on nutrition without mentioning the underlying problems that make it bad, serious problems at that .....HOW LAME! She is in a position to make a difference, instead she took the easiest route, once again HOW LAME!
Constant Comment September 14, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Marfa, calling other people insane just cause they won't rally behind you? Isn't that like the pot calling the kettle black? You don't have the right to say anything to Jill or American Girl. You are a RACIST and therefore you have no rights. }~)

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