Amazon.com has reportedly clinched a tentative deal with legislative leaders in California to begin collecting sales taxes in September 2012 in exchange for dropping a voter referendum drive aimed at repealing a recently passed law that would require online retailers to collect sales taxes.
Amazon has so far refused to collect taxes from its customers in California since the law was passed in June. Instead, it quickly followed through with threats to drop about 25,000 affiliate partners in California that provided links on their Web sites to Amazon in exchange for a cut of the sales revenue. The company has also spent about $5 million on a referendum to be placed on the ballot giving voters a chance to repeal the law (see Amazon Pushes Referendum to Change California Sales Tax Law).
More recently, the Seattle-based e-commerce giant has offered to build distribution centers in the state that would employ about 7,000 workers in exchange for a two-year moratorium on collecting the 7.25 percent sales tax from its California customers (see Amazon Bargains with California on Taxes). Democratic lawmakers were unable to pass a bill this week aimed at preventing Amazon from putting its referendum on the ballot.
Now Amazon has reportedly struck a tentative deal with lawmakers to begin collecting the sales taxes in September 2012, according to the Los Angeles Times. Under the deal, the company would drop its ballot referendum drive, on which it has already spent about $5 million.
Amazon is also reportedly still backing the passage of the Main Street Fairness Act in Congress to provide a nationwide policy on sales tax collection for online purchases (see Congress Introduces Bill to Collect Online Sales Taxes). However, the bill is generally opposed by Republican lawmakers and is unlikely to pass by next September.