On May 2, Amazon.com, LLC, and Amazon Services, LLC, announced that as of June 1 they would begin collecting sales tax on sales to New York State residents. This decision comes even as Amazon.com pursues its legal action against New York State over its Internet Sales Tax provision. As reported yesterday in Bookselling This Week, on April 25, Amazon filed a complaint in the Supreme Court of the State of New York that challenges as unconstitutional the provision in the state's budget.
ABA COO Oren Teicher noted that Amazon's decision to begin collecting and remitting taxes is significant. "The e-fairness victory here in New York has brought about concrete and positive change for state businesses," he said. "As the legal process plays out, this will level the playing field for New York State businesses. We are confident that New York's courts will uphold the provision."
On April 25, Amazon charged that New York's Internet Sales Tax provision violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution since it "imposes tax-collection obligations on out-of-state entities such as Amazon who have no substantial nexus with New York." New York State must respond to the complaint within 20 days after receiving the summons. A spokesperson for Amazon.com noted simply that the retailer would comply with the Internet Sales Tax provision to "obey the law."
ABA continues to urge New York booksellers and other independent retailers to thank their legislators for including the Internet Sales Tax provision in the final budget. ABA has created a templated, suggested "Thank You" letter to an assembly member and to a senator. "Considering Amazon's decision to challenge the provision, it is more important than ever that New York State legislators know that they have the support of independent booksellers throughout the state," said Teicher.