California lawmakers thought they were targeting Amazon.com, the out-of-state giant, when they voted last week to force Internet retailers to collect sales tax.
It turns out eBay Inc., California's own golden child of e-commerce, isn't so thrilled about it, either.
The San Jose online auction company says the legislation would hurt its business model, which relies on thousands of entrepreneurs who sell goods on its site.
The intent may have been to go after Amazon, but "we're literally caught in the crossfire," said David London, senior director for state government relations at eBay.
And they say it was written in a way to prevent any harm to eBay.
Yeah right…..this tax is a lose- lose for California
California's attempt to corral more revenue from Internet sales would address a real inequity, but the effort could just as easily harm as help the state. A disjointed, state-by-state approach to collecting online sales taxes will not work. Congress needs to provide a comprehensive national solution instead.
The budget plan the Legislature passed last week included a bill designed to boost sales tax collection by Internet retailers. The bill, ABx1 28, would generate an estimated $200 million a year for the state's deficit-ridden general fund. And the legislation would ease the competitive advantage distant online sellers have over in-state retailers. While Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed the main budget bill last week, the online sales tax legislation remains alive.
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