A group of California legislators plans to pass a new online sales tax bill in a move to thwart tax opponent Amazon.com.
Lawmakers today used a “gut-and-amend” procedure that takes an existing bill and substitutes an online sales tax measure. The bill passed the Senate Appropriations Committee today.
In late June, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill requiring Amazon and other online retailers to begin collecting sales tax on California transactions. The bill passed on a regular, majority vote. Amazon has refused to collect the tax and launched a referendum to have it overturned.
But Larry Levin, a spokesman for Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Oakland, said the new legislation would be different. It would pass on a two-thirds supermajority and would carry an “urgency” clause. That means it can’t be subject to ballot referendum, Levin said.
I would urge my fellow Republicans in the California Legislature to BLOCK this tax increase on California taxpayers and allow the referendum process sort out the law.