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Governor: Amazon Should Start Collecting State Sales Tax

The Internet giant has been exempt from collecting sales taxes in Massachusetts but some say that changed when it bought a North Reading company this year.

The Patrick administration is arguing that after Amazon, the huge online retailer, bought a Massachusetts company this year it is no longer exempt from collecting the state's 6.25 percent sales tax as soon as the 2013 holiday season.

Under federal law, online retailers are not required to collect state sales taxes if they do not have a physical presence in the state, such as an office building or a store, the Boston Globe reported

But Amazon bought North Reading company Kiva Systems this year, and is recruiting engineers for a Cambridge office, according to a Boston Globe report. This, Patrick says, means it needs to start collecting the state sales tax in Massachusetts. 

Amazon has faced similar pressure from other states and collects sales taxes in eight of them, according to the report. States and local retailers have also pressed the federal government to compel Amazon to pay state sales taxes. 

“This is not simply a revenue issue . . . it is a matter of fairness and equity to Main Street businesses,” state Treasurer Steve Grossman wrote in a letter to the chairman of the federal Senate Committee on Finance, urging him to change online taxation laws. 

Indeed, Massachusetts retailers have been fighting this battle for years, arguing that Amazon has an unfair advantage since it doesn't have to collect the tax. The Massachusetts Main Street Fairness Coalition says the state ultimately ends up losing out, too. According to its numbers, the state government lost $387 million in 2011 from residents buying sales-tax-free items online, the Globe reported

Howard Kosrofian November 27, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Has Democrat ever not liked a tax ? on and on, The dummies here all vote them back in. Oh that`s right most have something to gain, forgot about THIS BEING TAXACHUSETTS. Let`s all get a public sector job yeah !!!!
MJ November 27, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Look at a tax table. Taxachusetts is long gone. We are far from the top in tax tables. Why should someone pay taxes at their local Mom & Pop store for a toy, for instance, and not pay taxes if they buy it from Amazon? It is a matter of fairness. If you don't like taxes, go live in the Deep South. I have & I can assure you, the Social Darwinism there is awful. Low tax, low service. I am living where I want to & suggest you find a place more to your liking. I see you on here complaining often.
Howard Kosrofian November 27, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Well im glad taxes bring a smile to your face. You have your right on here to say what you will, as I have the same right. Local mom and pop toy store ? Talk about things long gone, more like TOY`S ARE US. I also hope since you enjoy paying taxes so much, that you check the box on your tax form to pay a little more, why not spread it around. Just to share a little story with you, I was in Tennessee some years ago for a week or so, and was driving to dinner with a friend, in Memphis, I noticed a funeral going by with a police detail leading and following it, I asked my friend, someone of note, or importance pass on, he said no down here everyone get`s that. I couldn`t beleive it.IF they did it here they would send the family a bill.

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