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Cal Residents to Pay Sales Tax on Amazon Purchases

Starting this Saturday, online retailer Amazon will collect sales tax from California residents. For Altadena, this means an additional 8.75% per item purchased.

For almost 20 years, Amazon and the California consumer enjoyed a tax-free relationship – if not technically, then practically. Though California residents have been legally required to remit their use-taxes directly to the state on online purchases, few have done so. Instead, many consumers chose to view the lack of sales tax as an online discount.

Now things will no longer be on the “honor system.” The retail giant will collect the sales tax up front. This is the result of an agreement reached between state lawmakers and some online retailers.

While the increased price for online purchases makes traditional brick-and-mortar store prices more competitive, Amazon will also get something out of the deal. Amazon plans to open some California-based on-the-ground operations of its own, to ensure faster fulfillment.  According to the SF Gate, a fulfillment center is planned for old Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino.

Says Lori Webster of Altadena’s Webster’s Fine Stationers, the fact that Amazon will now collect sales tax “evens out the playing field.”

"I say 'Yay!' It's good for the economy, plus it's the right thing to do."

Gary Edwards September 11, 2012 at 04:00 AM
the sales tax will (maybe) help the state. count on lawmakers wasting the millions somewhere. we'll see if local stores are now busier.
Just a mom September 11, 2012 at 04:25 PM
The prices on Amazon are still cheaper than local retail stores ... there's a better selection and you don't have to leave you home and waste gas or time not finding what you want in your color or size.
Rasheed Ali September 11, 2012 at 07:33 PM
This might help California but not Altadena. The lady at the Pasadena Main Office of USPS told me that we have (in Alta-Pas) more home-based business, per capita, than many major cities. This writer included. :)

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