retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Los Angeles Times reports that California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law “legislation to require Amazon.com and many other out-of-state Internet retailers to collect sales taxes on purchases by California customers.”

However, the law does not require the actual collection of these sales taxes by internet retailers until September 15, 2012 - a compromise that was sought and granted to Amazon.com, which in turn agreed not to push for a state-wide referendum preventing online sales tax collections. Amazon has said it will be seeking a national approach to the issue during the year of breathing room that the California law gives it.

According to the story, “Experts predicted that the new law would help bricks-and mortar stores that have sales staffs compete with e-commerce companies that need fewer people to fill orders. They also predicted that new jobs would flow into the state if Amazon, as expected, opens some large distribution centers to better serve California, which is estimated to represent as much as 20% of the company's market.”
KC's View:
It is time to collect online sales taxes. I’m sure there are arguments on both sides about whether the solution should be national or state-by-state. But e-commerce has matured to the point where at least on a taxation basis, it is playing on a level field with bricks-and-mortar retailers.