Amazon Granted Right to Seek California Voter Referendum on Sales Tax Fairness

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This week, the California Attorney General’s office ruled that is legally permitted to seek a voter referendum to overturn sales tax fairness legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in late June. will need to collect approximately 504,000 signatures by late September for the referendum to appear on a June 2012 ballot.

“We are not surprised that will be working to overturn sales tax fairness via referendum, given that its attempt to circumvent existing sales tax laws through the courts has thus far failed,” said Oren Teicher, ABA CEO. “However much Amazon attempts to spin the issue, we believe that voters in California understand that this attempt to overturn sales tax fairness is not about saving jobs — quite the opposite. This is about trying to do whatever it can to maintain its unfair advantage over Main Street retailers in California.”

In response to’s decision to move forward on the referendum, Evan Westrup, Gov. Brown’s spokesperson, quipped, “Where does Amazon plan to collect these signatures —  in front of bricks-and-mortar retailers that collect sales tax everyday?” as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Following’s launching of its referendum initiative, numerous editorials have criticized the company’s refusal to comply with the California law and collect and remit sales tax. (Here’s more on the editorial coverage.)