Experts Expound

Experts Expound

“Amazon, which has put another $2.25 million into its effort to repeal California’s online sales tax law through a referendum, is gambling that voters ultimately will agree to eliminate the tax. What do you think – is Amazon right or wrong?”

Right. California is already too hostile to business, the voters know this.

I’d bet my order of nine summer reading books that they’ll win. They have the best direct mail list in America and no one on that list will want to pay more taxes for doing business with them.

Amazon and other on-line retailers are violating the law now by not collecting sales tax on goods sold to CA residents. Now they want to ensconce their law-breaking in the law?

The moratorium was meant to allow infant industries to prosper. They are no longer infants and should be taxed at the same rate as land-based businesses

There is no right or wrong in FAT CITY. California politics is a lawless universe where the marauders use the courts or the ballot to stay fat.

Cheap, tax-free stuff, shipping included? This measure is priced for quick sale. In fact, not only will voters side with Amazon, they’d have brick-and-mortars stop collecting taxes, too, if they could.  This thing taps into that part of the California mind that prompts people to sleep outside Best Buy two weeks before Christmas.

It’s hard to blame Amazon for wanting to keep the sweet deal they’re profiting from now. But their stealth overhead and reliance on buyers to ‘voluntarily’ pay sales taxes amounts to an unfair advantage over the state’s own brick-and-mortar stores. Can they buy the election? You betcha.

Depends on who wins the rhetorical debate. If the opposition frames it as “us” (brick-and-mortar Californians) vs. “them” (out-of-state Amazon), Amazon loses. If Amazon successfully limits the campaign to a debate over taxes, it wins.

Californians have rarely met a tax they like, but Amazon may be outbid in this effort by the budget deficit.

Amazon is correct in both its position and its estimation of the likelihood of success. The Democratic bloodsuckers and Republican imbeciles need to spend less.

A well-run and funded “no” campaign should easily beat Amazon’s measure. Feature Mom and Pop businesspeople, who pay their fair share of taxes, up against the crushing competition of Amazon’s unfair loophole. Throw in cops and firefighters complaining they can’t protect us because of this big special gift to a sleazy corporation. That should do it.

This may, just may, be one of those rare times that voters approve a tax. They can’t get more taxes on the rich, like polls show that most people want. But they can pass a tax opposed by a billionaire with a reputation for being a jerk, Jeff Bezos. The millions Amazon spends against it could start to backfire, and a lot of people have an attitude that Amazon caters to yuppies. Could be that rare perfect storm. I’d rather just put taxes on the rich on the ballot, though.

Their crass political judgment may be correct, but when the courts rule they can’t run a referendum on a budget-related bill, brick-and-mortar retailers will get the last laugh.

Andrew Acosta, Elizabeth Ashford, A.G. Block, Mark Bogetich, Barry Brokaw, J Dale Debber, Peter DeMarco, Mike Donovan, Jim Evans, Kathy Fairbanks, Jeff Fuller, Rex Frazier, Ken Gibson, Evan Goldberg, Deborah Gonzalez, Sandy Harrison, Bob Hertzberg, Jason Kinney, Greg Lucas, Mike Madrid, Nicole Mahrt, Steve Maviglio,  Adam Mendelsohn, Barbara O’Connor, Bill Packer, Kassy Perry, Jack Pitney, Adam Probolsky, Tony Quinn, Matt Rexroad, Matt Ross, Roger Salazar, Dan Schnur, Will Shuck, Ralph Simoni, Sam Sorich, Ray Sotero, Garry South, Kevin Spillane, Robin Swanson, Angie Wei, Rich Zeiger


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