California residents can purchase a typical 22-inch LCD television on Wal-Mart’s website for $214. Those same residents can purchase that very same television on Amazon.com for $194. What’s the difference? That’s easy, it’s sales tax. The fact is that Wal-Mart is required to collect it while Amazon is not.
Federal and state lawmakers are beginning to think that this reprieve from sales-tax is no longer needed.
The law was put in place to help the fledging internet market, but Amazon now boasts over 90 million customers, with annual sales exceeding $34 billion.
Within the past year, this war has been waged in dozens of states, including California, Connecticut and Texas. The battle hits Capitol Hill soon as Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin plans to present the Main Street Fairness Act, which would mandate the collection of sales tax for all businesses, in the customer’s home state.