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New York Politicians Think About Repealing Amazon Tax, But Let It Drop

from the so-much-for-that dept

Back in April, we noted that some NY state politicians were trying to put in place a rather sneaky legal change that effectively would force Amazon to collect sales tax in New York, despite not having a physical presence there. The "trick" was to claim that if you had any affiliates in the state, you had a local presence. Affiliates, of course, can be nothing more than an advertiser. So, based on this change of law, effectively anyone who has an advertiser in NY is considered to have a local presence there and must collect sales tax. Both Amazon.com and Overstock have sued over this law, and Overstock has even gone so far as to cut off all NY affiliates in response (showing how the law probably hurts NYers a lot more than it helps them).

Saul Hansell, over at the NY Times, picked up on an odd fact, however. Just weeks after this passed, a separate bill was introduced to repeal it. Yet, that bill appeared to have no sponsor, but the state Senate actually voted and approved it. After some digging, Hansell got an explanation: saying that the original bill was part of a larger bill that was approved, but many felt that they wanted to address just this specific issue. Of course, it appears that the state senators' interest is not matched by the corresponding state assembly (who would also need to pass such a bill). Over there, they'd just as soon leave the matter as is, and let the courts (and taxpayers) sort it out.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    eleete, Jul 31st, 2008 @ 7:11pm

    Anti-Bundling Bill

    That's why we should have already passed the Anti-Bundling Bill so that one issue at a time should be voted on. A few in Congress are actually pushing for that, but with lobbyist interest's I doubt we'll see it anytime soon.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Vernon, Jul 31st, 2008 @ 7:21pm

    If Amazon had a checkbox during the checkout that said "Why Am I charged Sales Tax" along with a checkbox to "Let NY Politicians know your dissappointed in this" for NY shipping addresses, I would click it!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Vernon in NY, Jul 31st, 2008 @ 7:25pm

    Re: Anti-Bundling Bill

    Yeah! Too much backscratching going on! Any service that is not essential to human life shouldn't be paid for by the government.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Bryan Henderson, Jul 31st, 2008 @ 8:13pm

    Re: Anti-Bundling Bill

    This case shows that we don't need an anti-bundling bill, because a legislator can always just introduce another bill to undo a single component of a prior bundled bill.

    The bundling doesn't force legislators to vote in ways they don't want to -- it just reflects compromises they've made, which would be the same compromises if the bills were separate. A legislator wants low taxes for Amazon customers but even more wants a new highway. So he agrees to support taxing Amazon sales in exchange for his colleagues supporting the highway.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Brad Eleven, Aug 1st, 2008 @ 3:30am

    This case shows that we don't need an anti-bundling bill, because a legislator can always just introduce another bill to undo a single component of a prior bundled bill.
    There are many ways in which legislative bodies can stymie new legislation. Representative bodies have a Speaker who can simply refuse to recognize the bill's introduction, and any member of a Senatorial body can simply put a hold on any bill. Further, the introduction of a bill has nothing whatsoever to do with its passing, let along being signed into law by the executive.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Aug 1st, 2008 @ 9:08am

    @Bryan Henderson Re: Anti-Bundling Bill

    "This case shows that we don't need an anti-bundling bill, because a legislator can always just introduce another bill to undo a single component of a prior bundled bill."

    Ummm, no. It's almost always much harder to repeal a law than it is to pass one in the first place.

    In this case, somebody apparently went out of their way to sneak it through. I wouldn't want to depend on that to work every time.

    "Laws are like sausages -- it's best not to see them made."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    buy new pc, Dec 13th, 2008 @ 8:39am

    buy new pc

    Nice BLOG. useful for making money. A legislator wants low taxes for Amazon customers but even more wants a new highway.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    ViSalus, Dec 30th, 2008 @ 5:45am

    Visalus lifestyle

    Interesting post! There are many ways in which legislative bodies can stymie new legislation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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