Legislation would push Brewer to negotiate tax deal with Amazon - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Money

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Legislation would push Brewer to negotiate tax deal with Amazon

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 5:54 pm

A House panel on Wednesday approved legislation designed to get Gov. Jan Brewer to negotiate the same kind of tax-collection deal with Amazon.com that her counterparts elsewhere have obtained.

SB 1170 is similar to legislation company lobbyists already beat back twice in the Senate which would require that retailers with warehouses in Arizona immediately start collecting the state’s 6.6 percent, even if they have no stores here.

The plan, however, includes a sweetener designed to blunt the company’s opposition: It is prospective only, not kicking in until next year.

More to the point, it would absolve any affected retailer of any financial obligation that might have been incurred prior to that date. That would effectively wipe out a $53 million assessment the state Department of Revenue issued earlier this year against Amazon.com for unpaid taxes from March 1, 2006, through the end of 2010.

But Rep. J.D. Mesnard, R-Mesa, who crafted the plan, acknowledged more is at work.

“At the end of the day, I think the executive needs to be involved,” he said.

“Really, what this bill is, is what has happened in other states,” Mesnard explained. In fact, he noted, the language is virtually identical to a deal announced earlier this month by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.

“I suspect Amazon would entertain this (in Arizona) if they had some greater assurance from the executive,” Mesnard said.

So far, though, Brewer has shown no public interest in making a deal.

Last year, after touring one of Amazon’s Arizona warehouses, the governor said she was not sure that states should be trying to collect taxes from companies like that. Instead, Brewer said she was “sure that the federal government will continue trying to address the issue.”

And press aide Matthew Benson said his boss sees no reason to negotiate, pointing out the Department of Revenue assessment.

Whether the state actually can collect that, however, remains unclear.

The company, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, called the assessment “without merit” and said Amazon intends to defend itself “vigorously” against the levy.

And Don Isaacson, who lobbies for Amazon, said Wednesday the company’s position is federal law precludes any effort by Arizona or any other state to force it to collect taxes solely because of the location of its warehouses.

Federal courts have said there needs to be a legal “nexus” between a retailer and a state to require collection of sales taxes. That covers not only sales from brick-and-mortar stores but also Internet sales from companies like Target.com because it also has stores here.

SB 1170 expands what constitutes that nexus to include warehouses. Target lobbyist Tracy Hester said that would end the competitive advantage Amazon has over the Internet arm her firm operates.

McDonnell’s announcement of the deal came as Virginia’s General Assembly gave final approval last week to its version of what Mesnard is pushing here.

“This bill helps to ensure that online retailers with a physical presence in Virginia are treated the same as traditional brick-and-mortar retailers who are already required to collect and remit existing sales taxes and goods sold in the commonwealth,” McDonnell said. And Virginia state Sen. Frank Wagner, who sponsored that state’s version of the bill, said his state would collect at least $23 million in taxes from Amazon next year.

Isaacson sidestepped questions about what his client has agreed to elsewhere

“Amazon has reached agreement in other states,” Isaacson conceded.

“That can’t be denied,” he continued. “I just can’t comment on that today.”

Benson refused to comment on Mesnard’s legislation, which now goes to the House Appropriations Committee. And he sought to distance Brewer from the measure.

“It is not her proposal,” he said. “And it is not something we are working on right now.”

  • Discuss

Check your pockets! $1M lottery ticket sold in Phoenix area

PHOENIX — Someone in the Phoenix area became a lot richer over the weekend. The Arizona Lottery has announced that a Mega Millions ticket wort…

Published: June 28, 2016 - 2:26 am @ http://ktar.com/story/1144660/check-your-pockets-1…

Trump leading in Arizona poll, but Republicans still worried

Hillary Clinton's strong performance in some recent Arizona polls is making some Republicans nervous. The presumptive Democratic nominee leads…

Published: June 28, 2016 - 12:55 am @ http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trump-leading-in…

Muslim man in Arizona accused of murdering daughter in 'honor killing' found guilty

An Iraqi man in Arizona accused of killing his daughter because she had become too westernized was convicted on Tuesday of second-degree murde…

Published: June 28, 2016 - 12:25 am @ http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/faleh-has…

Man with dementia-like symptoms reported missing

STANFIELD, Ariz. - Authorities are asking for the public's help locating a man with symptoms associated with dementia who has not been seen si…

Published: June 27, 2016 - 11:54 pm @ http://www.12news.com/news/local/arizona/man-with-…

Silver Alert issued for 70-year-old Conan Lear Nelson

PHOENIX - A Silver Alert has been issued for a 70-year-old man last seen Sunday afternoon. Phoenix police say Conan Lear Nelson went missing f…

Published: June 27, 2016 - 10:54 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/cen…

10 Metro Phoenix Restaurant Openings to Look Forward to in the Second Half of 2016

Lauren Cusimano A A Since we rang in the new year six months ago, the metro Phoenix area has seen a slew of new restaurant openings, including…

Published: June 27, 2016 - 10:42 pm @ http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/restaurants/10-metr…

A dramatic increase in heat records is coming, new study says

This week's brutal heat wave across the Southwest is nothing compared to what we'll see in 45 years, if a new study's forecast is accurate. Th…

Published: June 27, 2016 - 10:24 pm @ http://azdailysun.com/news/local/a-dramatic-increa…

Phoenix police: Teens playing with guns ends with one of them in the hospital

PHOENIX - A teenager was rushed to the hospital after being shot in Phoenix Monday night. Crews were called to the scene near 19th Avenue and …

Published: June 27, 2016 - 9:54 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/cen…

It’s complicated: Marijuana growers, processors in Oregon face location woes

EUGENE, Ore. — As recreational marijuana cultivation emerges from decades in the shadows in Oregon, residents face a vexing challenge: Where w…

Published: June 27, 2016 - 9:23 pm @ http://www.thecannabist.co/2016/06/27/oregon-recre…

Scottsdale ranks fifth in best places to retire; Mesa, Phoenix land in top 20

Scottsdale is a great place to spend your golden years. That's according to a new study released by Bankrate.com. The consumer finance website…

Published: June 27, 2016 - 9:23 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/money/scottsdale-ranks-fifth-…

Facebook

ahwatukee.com on Facebook

Twitter

ahwatukee.com on Twitter

RSS

Subscribe to ahwatukee.com via RSS

RSS Feeds

Spacer4px

Most Popular

Online poll

Loading…