Legislation is brewing in California (ABX8 8 and SBX8 8) that would put this free website site off-the-air, and eliminate my family's primary source of income. That link also has suggestions on how to help ensure that these well-intentioned, but ineffective and hurtful bills and proposals don't become law.
Supporters of these bills hope that California might collect an extra $150 million in sales taxes each year from out-of-state online retailers when they sell anything into California. Collecting taxes due is good, but these bills won't do it.
These bills redefine supporting this website as equal to having a retail store in California. (in jargon, supporting me would create nexus.) These bills use me as the hook to coerce out-of-state websites to collect these taxes.
Whether or not supporting me is the same as having a retail store in California isn't the issue. The problem is that since supporting me would be the only hook that's requiring these sites to collect and remit sales tax, all they have to do is stop paying me, and that gets them excused from collecting any sales taxes at all!
If these bills pass as law, I get fired immediately, and those sites continue to sell into California tax-free. California collects no more sales taxes than it did before, but this website loses 90% of its funding, and California loses the income taxes I used to pay.
The article from the San Francisco Chronicle didn't realize, but as the Los Angeles Times reports, "Amazon has also said it would cancel its California contracts." That means me and this site. Heck, last summer when this came up before, Overstock.com fired everyone in California preemptively!
As of March 8th, 2010, Amazon just fired everyone in Colorado for this same reason.
Websites like mine don't bring that much business to the sites that support me. It's not enough to make it worth their while to have to collect and remit taxes for every order they would ship to California. That's what would happen if the bill passed as law: they'd have to collect tax on everything, even though I was only referring them a small amount of business. That's why they'd fire me immediately, and no taxes get collected, but I'm out of business and my family is out on the street.
If one of these bills becomes law, the hoped-for $150 million won't be collected, this site goes off-the-air as we know it, and California loses the income taxes that thousands of businesses families like mine used to pay. Everyone loses. Bad times.
Read here about what we can do today. If you're in California, you may want to contact these assembly members directly if you can politely explain your opposition to ABX8 8 and SBX8 8, and the subtleties of why these are a bad idea for everyone.
Charles Calderon, Chair: (916) 319-2058
Joe Coto: (916) 319-2023
Jim Beall: (916) 319-2024
Fiona Ma: (916) 319-2012
Anthony Portantino: (916) 319-2044
Lori Saldaña: (916) 319-2076
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© 1973-2010 Ken Rockwell. Photo of me: KarlGrobl.com. old index pages. random page.