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Sales-tax issues make Indiana attractive to Amazon, but at what cost?http://www.indystar.com/article/20110724/BUSINESS04/307240001/Sales-tax-issues-make-Indiana-attractive-Amazon-what-cost-Amazon.com makes a taxing argumenthttp://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/jontalton/2015689390_biztaltoncol24.htmlWal-Mart vs. Amazon in California tax law battle: Booksellers in the crossfirehttp://www.zdnet.com/blog/violetblue/wal-mart-vs-amazon-in-california-tax-law-battle-booksellers-in-the-crossfire/552Book lovers mourn Borders closurehttp://www.dailymail.com/News/Kanawha/201107241299Amazon.com Help: Sales Taxhttp://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=468512In an era of declining tax revenues, states and local governments are trying to hold on to sales taxes anyway they can. With the continued growth of online sales in the past decade, this question has been coming up more and more. In the past few weeks, the battleground over this issue has continued to expand across the country in regards to purchases made via Amazon.com. The issue is whether or not states can force out-of-state merchants to collect sales tax on purchases by in-state residents. States such as California would like to see increased monies in their coffers via these sales taxes, but many online retailers claim that it would hinder their operations. Twenty other states are also considering how to approach this issue, and they are also unsure how they can force these online retailers to collect sales taxes. There is an interesting legal precedent at play here, as a 1992 Supreme Court ruling determined that states cannot force retailers without an in-state presence to collect sales tax. The situation in California has taken on an additional curious wrinkle as Walmart is lobbying to make sure an upcoming ballot referendum in the state is decided in the favor of those stores with a direct bricks-and-mortar presence. Either way, it will be an interesting topic to keep tabs on, as Amazon has already commented that they may move some of their distribution centers to states with more business-friendly policies.The first link will take visitors to a piece from the Los Angeles Times by George Skelton which talks about the behind-the-scenes lobbying in the battle over the sales tax on online purchases. The second link leads to a piece from this Saturday's Indianapolis Star about the reasons why Amazon has located many of their warehouses in Indiana. Moving along, the third link will take visitors to an opinion piece on this matter from Jon Talton which appeared in the Seattle Times on Saturday. The fourth link leads to a piece by Violet Blue from her ZDNET column, "Pulp Tech". In this piece she talks about this recent imbroglio over taxes, along with a discussion of how this will affect consumers in the long and short term, with reference to the recent demise of Borders. On a related note, the fifth link leads to an article from this Monday's Charleston (West Virginia) Daily Mail about the closing of Borders. The last and final link will take users to the Amazon.com sales tax page, which describes how sales taxes are calculated on each order.
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