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House Singles Out Amazon Sales Tax In Legislature

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Photo: Doc Searls (Flickr)

Indiana currently does not tax online sales because of a deal it made with Amazon when the company moved its shipping headquarters to the state.

A bid to accelerate a sales-tax deal with Amazon may tap the brakes when it moves from the state House to the state Senate.  Indiana House of Representative members have complained Amazon negotiated a two-year grace period to work out the technical kinks in charging sales tax, then cut deals with four other states that take effect sooner.

But the bill is likely to pass through Senator Luke Kenley‘s Appropriations Committee, and he says the state should stick by the January 2014 effective date negotiated by then-Governor Mitch Daniels.

He notes Amazon is the only online retailer to offer to make any accommodation at all and the House is focusing too much on Amazon.

“I wish that the fellows in the House would spend their time lobbying Congress so that we could collect all of the sales tax on the Internet and catalog sales, and then we‘d have a fair solution that treated everyone the same,” Kenley says.

Amazon has been singled out because it has distribution facilities in Indiana, which allows a potential end run around a Supreme Court ruling limiting the ability to make out-of-state retailers collect sales tax.

Even there, Kenley questions whether the bill succeeds in getting around the legal obstacles to collecting the tax.

Representative Tom Dermody‘s  bill would make Amazon begin collecting the tax July 1, six months ahead of schedule.

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