by Angela Chagnon
Rep. Jeff Wilson (D-Manchester) spoke to the Republican Caucus about his bill, H. 143, to tax internet sales. The bill was introduced February 1 and is modeled after New York’s 2008 internet tax bill.
Wilson warned that Amazon.com has threatened to terminate its Vermont affiliates if the bill is passed. It’s not an empty threat, according to this South Carolina article:
The company has stopped working with affiliates in Rhode Island and Colorado because of collection-enforcement laws passed in those states. Virginia is among other states that do not require the company to collect sales taxes.
Earlier this month, Amazon said it would close a distribution center near Dallas and scrapped plans to expand elsewhere in Texas in the midst of a sales tax dispute. Texas said Amazon owed $269 million in uncollected sales taxes, a figure the retailer disputes. Amazon said it would shut down its center because Texas has an “unfavorable regulatory climate.”
It’s worth noting that Barnes and Nobles charges state sales tax for its online sales in Vermont, but does it voluntarily.