On Wednesday, January 14, Sarah Pishko of Prince Books in Norfolk, Virginia, was the focus of a front-page news story in The Virginian-Pilot regarding her e-fairness efforts. Pishko wants Virginia lawmakers to require Amazon.com to collect and remit sales tax for purchases made by Virginia residents because it operates two facilities, a fulfillment and data center, in the state. "I think people need to be aware that states are losing a lot of money that they should have," Pishko told the Pilot.
Late last year, when she found out about the online retailing giant's presence in Virginia, Pishko contacted state authorities, including Tax Commissioner Janie E. Bowen and Delegate Paula Miller (D-Norfolk). "Now, more than ever, we need the money," Miller told the newspaper.
Virginia Department of Taxation spokesman Joel Davison noted that the requirement to collect and remit sales tax includes out-of-state companies that take Virginia residents' orders but have a warehouse or other operation in Virginia. "They've got nexus in the state, then," Davison said.
In related e-fairness news, ABA will make available in the January 22 issue of Bookselling This Week a revised sales tax letter that booksellers will be able to adapt to send to their state lawmakers and Governor. (See related article.) --Dave Grogan