Backers of extending the state's temporary 1-cent sales tax submitted more than 290,000 signatures Monday to put the issue on the November ballot. But at this point all they've really done is guaranteed a court fight.
Retailers are demanding that Governor Jan Brewer negotiate a deal with the nation's largest online retailer to get it to start collecting state sales taxes.
The complaint by the retailers is that they have to collect state and local sales taxes while online operations like Amazon.com do not. Gayle Shanks, one of the owners of Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe said that's not fair.
Current law says companies with a retail presence in Arizona have to levy the tax. Efforts to expand that definition to include firms with only warehouses here were beaten back in the Senate by Amazon lobbyists -- twice. The proposal approved Wednesday by the House Commerce Committee seeks to sweeten the deal: The tax would be prospective only, meaning Amazon could escape having to fight a $53 million assessment from the state Department of Revenue for what it says are uncollected prior taxes. Mesa Republican J.D.
The initiative launched last week would kick in on June 1st, 2013, the day after the current three-year temporary tax hike approved by voters expires. Proponents say the money is needed to ensure adequate funding for education, with some cash earmarked for transit projects and programs for children. Governor Jan Brewer, who pushed that temporary levy, said her main concern is THAT one expires as she promised.
An initiative drive launched today seeks to let voters decide if they want to make permanent the 1-cent sales tax set to expire next year.
The proposal would earmark about 75 percent of the billion dollars a year for education, mostly for K-12 funding but also for college scholarships. Initiative organizer Ann-Eve Pedersen said this is not just throwing money at the problem, with some public school funding tied to performance.
PHOENIX (AP) _ Arizona is moving toward making online merchants collect sales tax on residents' purchases, a departure from the state's previous hands-office stance. The state Revenue Department has billed Amazon.com for $53 million in uncollected sales taxes for nearly five years. Amazon says it's contesting the state's assessment, which the company disclosed in its latest annual report. At the Legislature, Arizona lawmakers have introduced a bill to require Amazon.com and other retailers with distribution centers in