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Online Tax Bill Stalls

Posted on Wednesday, September 7, 2011 10:54am

California Democrats are trying to avoid a fight at the ballot box with online retailers over the collection of sales tax.   But, the effort has stalled.

As part of the state budget, lawmakers passed legislation requiring online retailers to collect sales tax from California customers. Amazon.com has spent millions of dollars on an effort to put a referendum on the ballot that would overturn the law. Democratic lawmakers are trying to pass a bill to make the sales tax law referendum-proof. But the Republican votes aren’t there.

Amazon has offered to create thousands of jobs in California if lawmakers delay the law’s implementation, but Democratic Assembly Speaker John Perez rejects that, saying, “the very jobs that they’re promising us here in California are jobs that they’re promising in other states as well. What they’re engaged is tantamount economic bigamy.”

The Senate may take up the bill again this week. Some Republicans call the Democratic measure an attack on the referendum process.

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