NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

December 12, 2012

Amazon to begin collecting Mass. sales taxes next year

(Continued)

Amazon purchased a robotics company in North Reading earlier this year, and opened a research office in Kendall Square in Cambridge, establishing what some officials suggested was the “brick and mortar” nexus necessary for the state to force the company to collect the taxes from its online shoppers.

The related business interests, however, are unlike the distribution facilities directly related to its online retail operations that other states have used to force agreements, Gonzalez said. More than a dozen states have reached deals with Amazon over tax collections, including Nevada, New Jersey, Texas, California and Pennsylvania.

Though some of those states struck direct agreements with Amazon to build new facilities or create jobs, Massachusetts officials said Amazon only committed to growing here in the future in its related business ventures. Gonzalez said through the negotiation process, state officials built a good relationship with Amazon and believe Amazon sees Massachusetts as a “growth area” and plans to “ramp up” its presence.

“We look forward to creating hundreds of high-tech jobs in Massachusetts and continuing to work with Gov. Patrick, state leaders, retailers and Congress to pass federal legislation permitting interstate sales tax collection. Federal legislation is the only way to level the playing field for all sellers, the only way for states to obtain more than a fraction of the sales tax revenue that is already owed and the only way to fully protect states’ rights,” said Paul Misener, Amazon vice president of global public policy.

According to the Alliance for Main Street Fairness, Massachusetts has lost out on $600 million in sales tax collections from e-commerce since 2007, including $132 million in 2012 and $116.8 in 2011. The state does have a “use-tax” provision in the tax code requiring residents to record and pay sales taxes on purchases made out-of-state or online, but enforcement is not highly successful.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Port Pics
AP Video
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Special Features