Opponents of the “Amazon Tax” have begun gathering signatures to overturn legislation that would require Internet-only retailers to collect sales tax on purchases by California residents.
Secretary of State Debra Bowen gave the green light for groups to begin collecting signatures Monday.
Valid signatures from 504,760 registered voters, or 5 percent of the total votes cast in the 2010 general election for governor, must be turned in by Sept. 27 in order to be placed on a voter ballot.
As part of the budget passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor last month, the Amazon Tax would help bridge a $9.6 billion state deficit.
If enough valid signatures are gathered, the law would be suspended until the next statewide election next fall.
"Proponents of the `Amazon Tax' claimed it would create fairness by
leveling the playing field between California's brick and mortar retailers and out-of-state online sellers,” said Board of Equalization member George Runner. “They claimed it would generate $200 million in new revenues for the state this year, but they were wrong.''
Runner said online companies have terminated their affiliate programs, leading out of state sellers to continue to sell to California buyers without collecting sales tax.
Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, (R-Twin Peaks), who represents Glendora in the 59th district, called the Amazon Tax “illegal.”
“Sacramento blames [Amazon] for stealing revenue from the state of California,” said Donnelly during a luncheon at America’s Christian Credit Union in Glendora earlier this month. “I’m sorry but we need to get our spending under control, and not blame it on any particular business or industry.”
City News Servce contributed to this report.