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Sales Tax for Amazon Begins Soon

The online retailer will levy state tax on mail-order purchases beginning Sept. 15. That will add more to the cost of each purchase. It that fair? Or overdue?

 

In a little less than two weeks — Sept. 15 to be exact — Amazon will begin charging sales tax on purchases for California residents.

Up to now, buying online at Amazon.com saved customers money, since no sales tax was collected.

But state lawmakers in California — a state which desperately needs cash — reached an agreement last year with online retailers, including Amazon, who agreed to begin collecting a sales tax in September.

According to the LA Times, about half of the projected $316 million raised in the first full year — and put into state coffers — is expected to come from merchandise sold by Amazon.

Increased prices for online purchases is welcome relief for brick-and-mortar stores, who feel the playing field for customers will be a bit more level.

CNNMoney says Amazon already charges sales tax in six states: Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Washington.

Pennsylvania will join California in sales tax charges in September.

New Jersey, Virginia, Indiana, Nevada, Tennessee and South Carolina are all expected to collect state sales taxes from online retailers within the next few years.

States estimate they lose $23 billion in annual sales taxes, some $11.5 billion of it from online purchases, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Meanwhile, Seattle-based Amazon has been expanding its physical presence in California, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The Chronicle says that in June, it leased 83,000 square feet just south of San Francisco's Financial District.

If you're interested in applying for those jobs, Amazon has set up a website to receive applications.

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