Looking for ways to drum up extra revenue in the state of California, legislators are seeking to impose a new state sales tax on Amazon.com Internet sales. However the Internet giant says not so fast and if proposed laws are passed they will sever all ties with affiliate businesses in California.
Currently the Golden State has more than 10,000 Internet businesses that earn a living with Amazon.com.
“In no uncertain terms, Amazon has made it clear to me that the checks they send Californians will be cut off overnight if pending (sales tax) legislation aimed at regulating their operations becomes law,” said George Runner, former state senator and current State Board of Equalization member.
Runner posted a letter he received from Paul Misener, Amazon’s Vice President for Global Public Policy, in which Amazon leaders cite four pending tax bills—AB 153 (Skinner), AB 155 (Calderon), SB 234 (Hancock), SB 655 (Steinberg) as anti-business laws.
All these measures would require out-of-state online retailers, like Amazon, to collect sales tax on purchases made by Californians.
The assault on taxpayers would cost California much-needed revenue as well as thousands of jobs.
“If any of these new tax collection schemes were adopted, Amazon would be compelled to end its advertising relationships with well over 10,000 California-based participants in the Amazon ‘Associates Program,’” Misener explained.
Don’t think Amazon will actually cut ties with California? Just ask the folks in North Carolina, Rhode Island and Colorado, who lost their livelihoods with Amazon.com. Misener says statewide terminations occurred in those states after lawmakers enacted similar laws.
Amazon points to U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling, Quill, that prohibited states from requiring sales tax collection by sellers lacking physical presence in the state and clearly Amazon falls under this high-court decision, according to Misener.
A Board of Equalization analysis illustrates the impact of the pending Assembly measures and cautions that 50 percent of projected revenues would vanish as a result of Amazon’s action.
According to the BOE analysis an “adverse impact on state employment,” would likely result in lower corporate and personal income tax revenues for the state.
Runner concluded that, “The Legislature needs to stop considering bills that would hurt jobs and instead start improving California’s dismal business climate so we can attract much-needed jobs to our state.”
The state stands to lose a substantial amount of revenue. According to the Sacramento Bee, “California affiliates last year paid $124 million in state income taxes, plus business, employment and property taxes. (And) that doesn’t count the multiplier effect of affiliate dollars in local economies.”
Unlike the federal government who can print money or borrow trillions from China (they currently hold nearly $1.2 trillion of U.S. bonds), California is financially bankrupt. Driving businesses and taxpayers out of the state will only postpone the inevitable- draconian cuts and failure.
© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.
Continue reading on Examiner.com: Amazon to cut California jobs if legislators insist on Internet tax – San Diego County Political Buzz | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/amazon-com-threatens-to-cut-jobs-california-if-legislators-insist-on-internet#ixzz1FNYY88de
When drawing a comparison to President Obama’s State of the Union Speech and California Governor Jerry Brown’s State of the State speech one thing rings hollow- substance. The president spoke to the nation for approximately an hour, while Brown chose a much shorter 13 paragraphs.
“When democratic ideals and calls for the right to vote are stirring the imagination of young people in Egypt and Tunisia and other parts of the world, we in California can’t say now is the time to block a vote of the people,” Brown told California lawmakers last night.
The country remains mired in an economic recession complete with compounding debt and stubborn unemployment. However, California’s problems are much more grave- double-digit joblessness coupled with a $25 billion deficit.
California’s newly elected Democratic Governor is pushing lawmakers to increase taxes as a solution to the Sacramento spending spree.
“My plan to rebuild California requires a vote of the people, and frankly, I believe it would be irresponsible to exclude the people from this process,” Brown explained. “They have a right to vote on this plan. This state belongs to all of us, not just those in this chamber. Given the unique nature of the crisis and the serious impact our decisions will have on millions of Californians, whether it’s more cuts, extend taxes, the voters deserve to be heard.”
Californians are no strangers to voting on ballot initiatives in fact, in the past 18 months there have been two tax increases proposed and both times they went down in flames. The state is already one of the highest-taxed states in the country, many Californians cannot afford higher taxes and judging by the recent polls they aren’t likely to change their minds about handing the state more money.
The Governor has proposed $12.5 billion in budget cuts, an extension of current taxes and an historical realignment of government. This program requires a vote from residents in a special election before it could become effective, according to a statement released from Brown.
“My plan to rebuild California requires a vote of the people, and frankly I believe it would be irresponsible for us to exclude the people from this process,” he said. “They have a right to vote on this plan. This state belongs to all of us, not just those of us in this chamber.”
However, the short speech was missing a key component that is strangling California economically- illegal immigration. Conservative estimates put the Golden State’s yearly costs for illegal immigration at $20 billion per year in healthcare, food stamps and other welfare programs. Yet the governor failed to utter a phrase about this very real problem.
The Republican response to the Governor’s speech was clear- no more taxes.
“The people have made it clear; they don’t want to pay higher taxes. Voters have rejected every tax increase on the last two statewide ballots. It’s time for Sacramento to finally to listen to the people,” Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway said. “Republicans stand united as the only line of defense for California taxpayers. We believe the best solution to help close our deficit is not by raising taxes, but by creating private sector jobs. That is done by lifting regulations and by reducing frivolous lawsuits. We must also rein in soaring public pension costs and make government programs run more cost-effectively.”
Other leaders in California echoed similar responses to what ails the state and how to fix its mounting deficit problems.
“Instead of raising taxes, the Governor should issue an executive order immediately freezing all new taxes, fees and regulations that hurt jobs,” said George Runner from the State Board of Equalization.
“The Governor can talk about jobs all he wants, but it’s the private sector—not the government—that actually creates jobs. And right now California’s job creators have a severe hernia from trying to lift a mountain of new taxes, fees and regulations imposed on them during this economic downturn,” he finished.
© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.
Continue reading on Examiner.com: Gov. Brown compares California budget crisis to Egypt uprising in speech – San Diego County Political Buzz | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/gov-brown-compares-california-budget-crisis-to-egypt-uprising-speech#ixzz1CjENIHbW
Heated elections, repressive taxes and an uncontrollable state budget have sent California taxpayers running for cover. The slow decline in California’s revenue has prompted legislators to raise taxes virtually strangling businesses ability to expand.
According to “Breaking Bad,” a report put out by Richard Rider a San Diego Tax Fighter activist, the state’s taxation problem is getting worse not better. California has the third highest state income tax in the nation and the 9.55 percent tax bracket starts at $46,349 for people filing as individuals.
California is home to the highest state sales taxes in the nation at 8.25 percent and the nearest competitor comes in at 7 percent.
If you own a business in California get ready to pony up 8.84 percent to Uncle Sam, this is the highest corporate tax rate west of the Mississippi. According to the Tax Foundation’s 2010 State Business Tax Climate Index, California ranks 48th among states-friendly to business owners and creating a good working relationship.
Other notable taxes include;
– 4th highest capital gains tax at 9.55 percent
– 1st in gasoline taxes (averaging 67.4 cents/gallon)
– Top 10 in yearly vehicle registration and licensing taxes
– The 7th highest “tax freedom day”
– The 3rd highest unemployment rate in the country
– High school per pupil spending (Los Angeles District $29,780 per student)
– Public schools have 2nd lowest graduation rate
– School teachers receive the 2nd highest pay in the nation ($69,093 average)
– California has 12 percent of the nation’s population, 36 percent collecting some type of welfare
– The state has the lowest bond ratings
– The top 600 CEO’s rated California the worst place to do business five years running
– In the last eight years 1.4 million residents have left California taking with them their tax dollars. Among the California exodus are the movers and shakers like Tiger Woods.
As taxes continue to rise, good paying jobs and commerce will disappear. As a result California will lose its tax base, forcing California’s fiscal death spiral to worsen, says Rider. “This downward spiral must stop now.”
With tax day still looming in the rearview mirror, it appears the American taxpayer is not feeling very giving when it comes to the Uncle Sam.
A new Rasmussen Report poll finds 69 percent of Americans are not in favor of higher taxes to pay down the ballooning deficit. The new poll finds that only 18 percent of taxpayers are willing to shell out more money to the Federal Reserve in order to pay down the country’s bloated deficit.
An overwhelming number of Americans would rather see Congress curtail their
spending habits instead of reaching their sticky fingers into taxpayer pocketbooks. With many entitlement programs running in the red, either higher taxes or severe spending cuts are on the horizon.
However, Rasmussen found that most voters believe President Obama’s bipartisan debt reduction commission will recommend tax hikes rather than spending cuts. The poll also disclosed that if the panel suggests tax increases, 78 percent believe Congress will raise taxes across the board.
The results also showed that men were twice as likely to accept a tax hike compared to women.
A staggering 83 percent of Americans believe the growing size of the national deficit has more to do with an addiction to spending by Congress and the reluctance of Americans to foot the ever-increasing tab.
While 66 percent of taxpayers think they are already overtaxed, 46 percent fully expect their taxes to go up under the Obama Administration in the coming years.
The higher taxes trend will only be exacerbated as more details trickle out of the health care package. Most American’s think the President’s new health care bill will raise the deficits as a result 58 percent feel lawmakers should repeal the bill. In the long-term taxpayers indicate the recession is placing enough of a burden on their family and want the other guy to foot the bill.
Estimates from nonpartisan groups like the Urban Institute or Tax Policy Center point out that if the federal government does not curtail spending it would take taxing those making more than $200,000 per year 77 to 91 percent to bring the deficits to reasonable levels of 2 to 3 percent of GDP, but this drastic measure would not erase the country’s debt.
This last option seems highly unlikely as folks making that kind of money would simply leave the country or quit their jobs. The fact is that nearly half of Americans pay no income tax and this is already a sour point with taxpayers who just wrote their yearly Internal Revenue Service (IRS) checks.
Looking forward to next year’s tax bill one thing is certain, this year will most likely be the last respite families will see from taxes for many years to come.
California Medical Association, the states’ largest doctors group, is the latest organization to jump ship from the $2.5 trillion Senate health care reform bill currently under debate in Washington. They cite, “it (health care reform) would increase local health care costs and restrict access of care for the elderly and low-income patients.”
The large price-tag attached to the health care reform legislation and lack of new jobs has soured the majority of Americans who would like to see the White House concentrate on job creation. The polls tell the tale of an unpopular health care package. Rasmussen Polls show the margin widening for those who do not favor this legislation – 36 percent favor what Washington is offering, while 59 percent do not want this bill.
However, this hasn’t stopped California Senator Barbara Boxer-D from her unwavering support of the largest entitlement program in U.S. history.
“In her rush to pass a massive $2.5 trillion government health care bill, Barbara Boxer has ignored the grim economic reality in her state,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokeswoman Amber Wilkerson Marchand. “Given her inaction on the most pressing concern facing California voters, it’s no wonder Boxer’s popularity lags so far behind Dianne Feinstein’s.”
According to a report from the Washington Post, the health care reform package contains unfunded mandates that would cost California about $8 billion annually. This is something California cannot withstand says Kim Belshe, California’s Secretary of Health and Human Services. “We cannot afford the $100s of millions or billions in new costs on the state.”
President Obama has promised he will not raise taxes on those making less than $250,000 per year, yet according to Dick Morris Reports, Obama’s health care legislation will require state governors to raise taxes to pay for augmented health care costs. Shifting the burden onto the states is a very sneaky way to take cover when reelection season approaches.
For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner