California's Internet Sales Tax Legislation Held Over

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This week, California Internet Sales Tax legislation (A.B. 178) -- which would require out-of-state companies that have affiliates in California to collect and remit sales tax on sales made over the Internet to in-state customers -- was held over for future consideration. Despite the bill's postponement, Lenny Goldberg of the California Tax Reform Association stressed, "[The Internet Sales Tax bill] is still a very live issue." A hearing on the bill that had been scheduled for Monday, April 27, was canceled.

"Though we were looking forward to making our case at the hearing, delays in the legislative process are nothing new," said Oren Teicher, ABA COO. "However, this continues to be an opportunity for booksellers to reiterate their strong support for this important bill. We are urging booksellers to write their legislators and the governor -- and to speak with their retailer neighbors about e-fairness and urge them to join our campaign."

A.B. 178, which was introduced by Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, has earned widespread support from such businesses and organizations as California Business Properties Association (which includes Wal-Mart, Target, and Safeway), the California Federation of Teachers, California Professional Firefighters, the California School Employees Association, League of California Cities, Netflix, the National Association of College Stores, and Service Employees International Union.

To help booksellers in this important advocacy outreach, the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association, the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association, and ABA have prepared a template letter that booksellers can adapt and e-mail to their assemblymember in support of A.B. 178 (when e-mailing a letter, always remember to include your store name, address, and city). Booksellers can look up their California State assemblymember here.