I love Amazon, and my state is hurting: any connection?

I love Amazon.com. I buy all my books (electronic, of course) from them to read on my Amazon Kindle. I buy excellent coffee, all presents for grandchildren, electronic gadgets, and just about anything else. And thanks to Amazon Prime, after a yearly charge I get everything shipped for free.

Their customer service is amazing, too. Easy returns, and if you click on a link on their customer service page you’ll get a phone call from a person in seconds. Their prices are great. They don’t charge California sales tax, but California residents are liable anyway, so I estimate my on-line purchases and send the state a check.

But most people don’t. California estimates that it will lose $83 million this year in unpaid taxes on Amazon purchases, and $200 million from all on-line purchases. And the loss will grow as on-line sales continue their dramatic growth, crowding out traditional brick-and-mortar retailers.

I also love the University of California. Three of our four kids got low-cost, top-quality educations there. But today’s California kids don’t have it as good—the university is constantly raising in-state tuition, and is now giving preference to out-of-state students who will pay more to help make ends meet.

So my love for the university is crosswise with my love for Amazon. University budget cuts have resulted from my Amazon purchases. And fellow Californians have lost jobs because traditional retailers couldn’t compete with Amazon’s roughly ten per cent price edge.

The state passed a law requiring internet retailers to collect sales tax, but Amazon is spending millions to collect anti-tax-law signatures for a ballot initiative to overturn the law.

What’s a conflicted, ethical Californian to do? Give up on Amazon or give up on the soon-to-be-mediocre University of California?


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One Response to “I love Amazon, and my state is hurting: any connection?”

  1. Panama corporation Says:

    ..So far Amazon is thumbing its nose at the state of California refusing to collect sales tax on purchases made by Californians…According to the state law however designing its Kindle within California may cause it to pay taxes even after the company terminated its agreements with its affiliates in the state…California Gov. Jerry Brown passed a portion of the state budget on Wednesday night that would require Internet retailers with affiliates in the state of California to collect sales taxes from customers living there…The so-called budget trailer bill was authored by Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield D-San Fernando Valley and took effect Friday a spokesman for the California State Board of Equalization confirmed…Amazon representatives could not be reached for comment on Thursday night.

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