Online bookselling giant Amazon.com has three distribution facilities in Phoenix and is planning a fourth. Despite the massive movement of sold books through Arizona, Amazon -- like most other online retailers -- neither collects from its customers nor pays, according to the state, any state sales tax.
That's one of the primary reasons Amazon.com's got such a big presence here. Other states, like California, want to put the squeeze on the book giant.
Not only doesn't the state collect sales tax from Amazon, but the retailer is technically in violation of state tax laws, according to a state Department of Revenue analyst quoted in a May Business Journal article.
The Governor's office didn't call us back yesterday morning on the matter. During a celebration on Thursday of Amazon.com's completion of a 1.2 million-square-foot facility and its plans for another facility of similar size, Brewer told reporters who asked about the tax situation that, "I'm not in a position today to really discuss that."
It's a touchy subject, since pressing the company on the issue might just cause it to pull up stakes an leave town for a more friendly state. That would cost the state jobs. But wait -- isn't Brewer, signer of SB1070, a believer in the idea that the law should be followed?
Brewer's acquiescence puts money before principle -- or state law, if the state revenue department's analyst is right.
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So, should Arizona join other states in trying to force online retailers to collect and pay sales tax, or should we continue to reap the benefits of having less-strict enforcement?
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