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Qualified Purchaser Program Reviewed

Posted on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 9:31am

An obscure sales and use tax program designed to boost state revenues is drawing fire from California conservatives and small businesses. The program is up for review at the Board of Equalization Wednesday.

It’s a piece of the 2009 state budget package called the “Qualified Purchaser” program. It’s designed to increase revenues by collecting California sales tax on items purchased out-of-state by small businesses.

John Kabateck heads the California chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business, a group that advocates for small businesses. He says complaints about the program are pouring in from his members.

“The cost of compliance is often more than the actual tax that the business paid – not including the additional time and stress of just dealing with the government bureaucracy,” said Kabateck.

Kabateck and other critics want the legislature to repeal the program. But since that’s not likely to happen, they’re looking to the Board of Equalization to change how the program is enforced to reduce the number of businesses affected.

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