Here’s some Amazon news that hits me literally right where I live. Today Amazon began charging sales tax on orders shipped to Indiana—where I currently live—as well as Nevada and Tennessee. I can see why the states want to get their hands on the extra money, and technically we should be paying sales tax or use tax on everything we purchase, no matter where we buy it, but it’s still annoying to see all my Amazon prices effectively rise by 7%.
I was talking about it with my brother, and he pointed out that the funny thing is that this is supposed to give local retailers a more “level playing field” to compete with Amazon—but given that most of those local retailers aren’t going to deliver things directly to his door the way Amazon is, and that often Amazon’s prices are better than local even with the sales tax added, it doesn’t seem like it will be that high of an incentive.
This means Amazon is currently collecting sales tax in 19 out of the 50 states, and they’ll add South Carolina in 2016. Amazon is fighting tooth and nail against having to collect state sales taxes, including dropping affiliate programs in states where that would save it, but supports Congressional efforts to codify a single national set of sales tax rules.