Last updated: January 20, 2011 - 9:53am
A Berkeley (California) lawmaker, backed by a coalition of large and small retailers, is pursuing a controversial bill to require Amazon and many other Internet retailers to collect sales taxes on purchases made by California consumers.
Democratic Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner touted a bill that she said could raise $300 million in badly needed state and local government revenue this year. It's at least the third such effort by state lawmakers in the last three years. Similar legislation was approved in 2009 as part of a proposed state budget but was vetoed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The new governor, Jerry Brown, who is scrambling to fill an estimated $25-billion budget shortfall, hasn't taken a position on the issue, Brown spokesman Evan Westrup said. Collecting taxes on most Internet sales is a question of treating all competing businesses fairly, supporters argued.
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