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Taxing Amazon

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer wants to force online retailer Amazon.com to collect sales tax on behalf of the state. What’s this mean for e-retail?

This is not a new tax, says New York State Tax Commissioner Robert Megna, on CNBC’s Closing Bell. We think e-retailers that have a presence in New York state should collect tax. And we’ve asked the legislature to pass a law that makes that clear. It’s nothing new. 8 of the top 10 top e-retailers already collect and remit sales tax.

We’re trying to level the playing field because in New York brick and mortar retailers must collect and remit sales tax. Amazon has a competitive advantage right now against in state retailers who have to collect. We’re trying to level the playing field.

I don’t like the plan, counters Jeff Macke. It makes Amazon the agent of collection. And it hinders Amazon’s ability to service its customers in a way that’s consistent through out the country, which is the goal of any online retailer. It’s pretty unfriendly to the consumer and to business.

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