If you live in California, your days of being able to order from Amazon without paying sales tax are numbered. California Governor Jerry Brown just signed into law a bill requiring Amazon and a number of other on-line retailers to collect and pay sales tax on purchases made by Californians, even if they do not have physical facilities within the state. The tax takes effect as of September 15, 2012
and will, of course, include sales tax on e-books.
A funny thing is, this means that Amazon’s physical service to California residents could actually improve considerably as the company bites the bullet and builds the in-state distribution centers that it had been avoiding out of a desire not to have to collect and pay sales tax. It is estimated that California accounts for as much as 20% of Amazon.com’s overall market. And undoubtedly the additional tax revenues will help the budgetarily-embattled state when they start rolling in.
I have little doubt that the other 44 states that have sales taxes (five states don’t) will be watching how this goes and developing plans to enact their own similar legislation. It could be that the days of ordering online without paying sales tax may be numbered for all of us.
(Found via CNet.)