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Since I’m in the habit of bashing Amazon.com (apparently unconvincingly, based on comments), I’d like to criticize Amazon for its response to the state of Illinois’s highly reasonable decision to stop giving it a tax break.  Amazon has many competitive advantages over brick-and-mortar booksellers, which I listed, but one advantage I omitted is that Amazon customers don’t pay sales tax.  I’m a tad vague on the legal rationale, but my understanding is that e-commerce exempts itself from sales tax through manipulation of the commerce clause.  But lacking a reasonable economic rationale for favoring a particular sales channel, states are right to seek sales tax on purchase made from Amazon and other e-commerce firms.  Pay up, Amazon customers.

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One Comment

  1. Yeah, probably just a case of Amazon wanting to ending a program, and finding a good excuse to get out of it. Or signaling to other state governments what will happen if they force sales tax on sales at Amazon? Either way, pretty weak for Amazon.


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