Amazon Wants California Voters to Help Company Win Sales-Tax Fight

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Amazon's tactic of firing people in states that pass sales-tax-requirement laws (Illinois, Hawaii, Connecticut, California, and North Carolina so far), is failing to produce results. So now, instead of bitching and moaning that requiring sales taxes is "unconstitutional," the company is taking its argument directly to voters.

As we reported last month, Amazon eliminated its "Associates" program (a program where website owners are paid to shill Amazon products online) in California after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill requiring sales taxes to be collected from online retailers in the state--a move that would create some $200 million in revenue for the broke-ass state.

Now Amazon is trying to put the issue on the 2012 ballot by starting an initiative campaign that could overturn the sales-tax law.

Reuters reports:

The attorney general's office received the petition on Friday and will prepare a title and summary for the initiative, which would require nearly 434,000 voters' signatures to qualify for the ballot, the spokeswoman said.

How Amazon plans on finding 434,000 people who agree that charging sales taxes to online business isn't fair is unclear--especially considering it would again put the state budget deep in the red.

Reached for comment by Seattle Weekly, Amazon provided the following statement by Paul Misener, VP of Global Public Policy:

"This is a referendum on jobs and investment in California. We support this referendum against the recent sales tax legislation because, with unemployment at well over 11 percent, Californians deserve a voice and a choice about jobs, investment and the state's economic future. At a time when businesses are leaving California, it is important to enact policies that attract and encourage business, not drive it away. Amazon looks forward to working again with tens of thousands of small business affiliates in California that were harmed by the new law's effect on hundreds of out-of-state retailers. As Governor Brown has made clear, it is important to directly involve the citizens of California in key issues and we believe that Californians will want to vote to protect small business and keep jobs in the state."

Again, "Californians deserve a voice and a choice about jobs."

Interesting words from a company that just eliminated the jobs of every Associate in the state because it didn't like a tax law.

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