Feeds

Amazon to give up the fight in California

Offers to pay up later if it doesn't have to fork out now

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

Amazon has cut a deal to lay down its arms in its battle with Californian legislators over the introduction of a sales tax for online retailers in the state.

The deal would postpone the imposition of a sales tax on Amazon until September 2012 and in return, the retailer would agree to stop spending its millions fighting the tax, the LA Times reported.

The online retail giant was supposed to start paying taxes in July, but refused to do so, and instead started a campaign that included severing its ties with affiliates in California and putting $5m into collecting signatures for a referendum challenging the new law.

This is not the first deal Amazon has tried to strike a deal with legislators, including California governor Jerry Brown. Last week, Amazon offered to set up two new distribution centres in the state in exchange for not paying up until 2014, but Brown rejected the deal.

At the time of publishing, Amazon had not responded to a request for comment.

Amazon and other online retailers argue that they don't have enough of a physical presence in states to warrant the collection of a sales tax and that trying to impose one on them is just the bricks-and-mortar shops' way of crippling them.

But other US states, including New York, North Carolina, Hawaii and Rhode Island as well as California, have started to push sales taxes on online retailers arguing they do have enough physical presence and that not taxing them gives them an unfair competitive advantage over big-box retailers.

The debate has also reached the US Congress, which is currently mulling over a National Internet Sales Tax Bill that was introduced at the start of August. Any decision Congress makes in the next year would over-rule state laws.

"It's a safe harbour for up to a year," said another of the legislators, assemblyman Charles Calderon. "If they can't get Congress to act by next July, then they will start to collect the tax in September 2012. If by chance they get Congress to act, then that would trump the state law."

The tax is a big deal for California, which is hoping to balance an $86bn budget signed in June that aims to bring in $200m annually. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.