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Taxing Amazon

Tuesday, 12 Feb 2008 | 3:51 PM ET

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.

New York Taxing Amazon?
New York Governor Eliot Spitzer wants to force online retailer Amazon.com to collect sales tax on behalf of the state. Fast Money's Jeff Macke discusses the issue with New York State Tax Commissioner Robert Megna.

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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