Feeding the beast: Amazon to start collecting state taxes from NC customers

biggovtOpen up your wallets, folks.  It’s official.  The North Carolina Department of Revenue will start getting a cut of your purchases from Amazon.com starting February 1.

It’s not entirely clear what brought this latest decision on.  The state has been fighting with Amazon since at least 2010.  The retailer went to court to try and prevent the state government jackals from getting their claws on the personal data of North Carolinians who have purchased from Amazon’s site.  Tech industry media rightly described North Carolina state government’s tactics as “an e-commerce witch hunt.”

The state settled with Amazon in court in 2011, but “reserved the right” to keep going after Amazon and its North Carolina customers.  *Nice. *

It looks like all of those “contributions” from retail industry lobbyists to the denizens of Jones Street are finally *paying off.*  We were sold this whole idea of a “conservative revolution” in Raleigh.  Yet, state government spending is exploding.   They’re trying to take more money out of our pockets to fund their orgy with toll roads and NOW taxes on e-commerce purchases.  Where does it stop?  Do you really think they’ll stop with Amazon?

DC has been trying to go down this road for some time but it’s been unsuccessful, so far. Big retailers like Amazon and Wal-Mart will weather this just fine.  They have the resources in their accounting departments to track 50 different tax codes.  This is really going to hurt the smaller entrepreneurs who have been using the Internet as a low-cost, quick method for expanding their markets and reaching new customers. 

6 comments for “Feeding the beast: Amazon to start collecting state taxes from NC customers

  1. Raphael
    January 20, 2014 at 2:52 am

    Since the legislature has not been in session for months, this seems to be an Executive Branch ”accomplishment”. Thanks a lot, Governor McCrory!

    And you are right about this being an administrative nightmare for all but the very largest of the internet sellers. Interacting with 50 different states will be extremely burdensome. Indeed, Amazon might have thrown its own customers under the bus in order to squeeze their online competition. It is shameful if they did this for such crony capitalist motives.

    I for one will try to shop with someone other than Amazon from now on.

  2. Robert
    January 20, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Just another example of the wrong philosophy that has been instilled in the masses – the supremacy of the state. The long touted excuse about brick and mortar stores losing out to internet sales is a crock. Those stores derive no benefit from the newly imposed taxes. The taxes do not discourage sales when the item is not available locally. I personally prefer to purchase locally IF IT’S AVAILABLE which in a small town is not very often. This is nothing more than another abuse on the consumers. This is the result of both democrat and republican efforts. If we continue to elect the typical inonit (in-on-it) republicans and the socialist democrats it will only get worse with tolls imposed on already paid-for roads, taxes on emails, and other fees while governments at all levels continue to grow and spend.

  3. Atnor
    January 20, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Yep, the leviathan state pushing itself where it doesnt belong – the state of NC is engaged in a blatant money-grab. That’s really all that is.

    I really disagree with the notion that the state of NC should have the right to follow me around and demand they get a cut of all my commerce, even when “I” do it outside the state’s borders. And, I fail to see the logic in the underlying assumption that an Internet purchase occurs where the consumer “physically” is.

    If they “really” wanted to be “fair”, all sales taxes should be charged based on where the commerce event took place. With brick-and-mortar, that’s in NC. With amazon.com, if anything we should all be paying Washington state taxes, since that’s where amazon is located and that’s where I go “virtually” when I purchase things from them.

    NC shouldnt get a cut just because technology allows me to “travel” to Washington state really fast to do business, and the last thing the state of NC needs or deserves is more money sucked out of its citizens.

  4. NCKen
    January 20, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Much talk of A Convention of States http://conventionofstates.com to fight against and quell Washington’s insatiable appetite. Looks as if a Convention of Counties is in order here in NC. We need to cull our way down from Raleigh to where honorable men still walk the earth; down here, where they can’t hide so easily, and where we can reach out and touch them to ensure they remain honorable.

  5. jr cooper
    January 21, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    A shame is what it is. But you can still avoid the sales tax by buying through EBay. It might take a little longer but you can dig around and find it through EBay. Pay with PayPal and you will have your guarantee.

    As Governor Easley said of Europe, “A cheeseburger with onion rings costs $60.00 over there.” I don’t know if the figure of $60.00 included sales tax or not. If not then the sales tax on that European burger would buy a couple of burgers off the dollar menu around here.

  6. RJM
    January 22, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    I will be purchasing less. Will that help the economy Mr. Tillis? Cut your spending by at least 10% in 2014.

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