published Monday, September 12th, 2011

Senator Durbin praises Amazon/California tax deal

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NASHVILLE — U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin today praised a deal struck by Amazon with California over Internet sales tax collections but said his national legislation and not a state-by-state struggle remains the best solution.

“It’s needed because I don’t think any company including Amazon should have to fight this war on 50 fronts,” said Durbin, D-Ill. “Beyond each state, they [Internet retailers] have to worry about local sales taxes that may be imposed as well.”

Last week, Amazon and California lawmakers reached an agreement that the company would begin collecting sales taxes after a year.

In Tennessee, Gov. Bill Haslam is trying to persuade Amazon to change its current agreement with the state. Under a deal struck by prior Gov. Phil Bredesen, Amazon is locating two distribution centers in Southeast Tennessee in exchange for the company not having to collect sales taxes on items sold to Tennesseans.

Durbin was in Nashville where he held a news conference with U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., about Durbin’s Main Street Fairness Act on the Internet sales tax issue, as well as new laws passed by Tennessee and other states that require government-issued photo identification to vote.

Durbin said his Main Street Fairness Act is an effort “to establish a national standard. And I think that’s why Amazon has signed on. They want to have a consistent rule, state by state, that they can apply.”

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Times Free Press.

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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patriot1 said...

I'm sure Durbin has never seen a tax he didn't like.

September 12, 2011 at 5:01 p.m.
Johnnie5000 said...

His first name is Dick after all isn't it.

September 12, 2011 at 7:26 p.m.
rolando said...

Illinois pulled a similar stunt. Consequently, both Illinois and California are seeing a mass exodus by small business.

Thousands of small business owners in Calif -- all Amazon affiliates -- were notified that Amazon was terminating their relationship due to California deciding the affiliates gave them a nexus into Amazon and demanded that Amazon collect sales taxes. [Sound familiar?]

Many of those small businesses -- the ones who can afford it -- are moving, mostly to Nevada...and taking their employees with them. So California -- and soon Tennessee if the a-holes in Nashville keep it up -- have not just lost any hope of sales taxes from Amazon, but they have lost the sales, business, and income taxes from those small businesses and their employees. Typical government idiots thinking they can take a piece of the action and get away with it.

California, by the way, with a 12% state-wide unemployment rate, explained that they were too big a market for Amazon to abandon. Yeah, right. Amazon is not the federal government -- they do not bail out failing governments. And that includes us.

September 12, 2011 at 7:34 p.m.
jiminycricket said...

I do not think you really want the Federal Government to dictate our state sales tax, do you? Look how they run their own ship, they will sink us, the retailers and attorneys who are whining, and Amazon will just relocate to another country.

TN cut a deal to bring them here, leave it alone, they are already creating jobs by constructing and the contractors and employees that are paid at these jobs have families that are spending money at Wal-mart and other retail centers, who by the way, are paying state sales tax.

Can you not see the trickle down GOOD effect this will have for our state and everyone in it?

If you ask the Feds to step in, just remember the healthcare bill, doesn't sound like such a good idea now, does it Gov. Haslam?

Let the other retailers whine, but when you look at the BIG picture, everyone is benefiting from Amazon agreeing to move to TN.

Furthermore, it is unfair to Amazon to back out of the deal they originally made because in all fairness, they could have made a different decision had they known this was going to become an issue.

Let your conscious be your guide!

September 16, 2011 at 11:45 p.m.
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