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ABA Responds to Amazon Stance on Sales Tax

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July 11 – July 17, 2011 Edition ABA Responds to Amazon Stance on Sales Tax

Tarrytown, NY/AUTHORLINK/ July 13, 2011– Just weeks after California Gov. Jerry Brown signed sales tax fairness legislation into law, Amazon.com has filed a petition with the California Attorney General’s Office seeking a voter referendum to overturn the new law. The law, AB 28X, requires remote retailers with nexus in the state to collect and remit sales tax to the state for orders made by California residents.

“Having long behaved as if tax laws don’t apply to them, Amazon.com has now announced its intention to spend millions of dollars in an effort to get a tax-evasion referendum on the ballot in California,” said American Booksellers Association CEO Oren Teicher, speaking on behalf of ABA, the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association, and the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association, all members of the Alliance for Main Street Fairness. “California has made clear that it’s not the role of government to pick favorites among retail businesses. The time has come for Amazon.com to collect and remit the required sales tax — just like every other California retailer. If Amazon.com is not prepared to do the right thing, we urge the state Board of Equalization to pursue all available means to compel Amazon.com to comply with the law, just as 164,000 California retailers do every day.”

Presently, it is unclear whether the law can be overturned via referendum, but, if the attorney general’s office rules in favor of the referendum, Amazon.com will need to collect 504,000 signatures by October for the referendum to appear on a June 2012 ballot. The attorney general’s office can declare the request valid, invalid, or can turn the decision over to the courts.

About American Booksellers Association

Founded in 1900, the American Booksellers Association is a not-for-profit trade organization devoted to meeting the needs of its core members — independently owned bookstores with storefront locations — through education, information dissemination, business products and services, and advocacy. ABA exists to protect and promote the interests of independent retail book businesses, as well as to protect the First Amendment rights of every American. The association actively supports free speech, literacy, and programs that support local and independent retail shops. A board of nine booksellers, representing thousands of members, governs the Association. ABA is headquartered in Tarrytown, New York.