In this episode, Chris Mitchell, the director of our Community Broadband Networks initiative, interviews Stacy Mitchell (no relation) ILSR Co-Director and Senior Researcher for the Community-Scaled Economies initiative about their latest report: Amazon’s Stranglehold: How the Company’s Tightening Grip is Stifling Competition, Eroding Jobs, and Threatening Communities. Mitchell details the main points from the recent report including the startling fact that nearly $1 of every $2 spent online are spent on Amazon. Continue reading
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Term for Retail
For years, Amazon has used its size and market power to bully publishers and keep other retailers from competing in the e-book market. And, for years, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has done nothing to constrain Amazon’s abuses or bring about a more competitive marketplace. So it was quite a shock last month when… Continue reading
Legislation introduced in Congress that would require internet retailers to collect state and local sales taxes stands a fairly good chance of passing in the first few months of 2004, according to supporters of the bill.
The bill, sponsored in the Senate by Byron Dorgan (D-SD) and Michael Enzi (R-WY) and in the House by Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-MA), gives Congressional approval to a national compact made up of states that have simplified and aligned their sales tax rules and regulations.
The state of Iowa is in the process of removing a direct link to Amazon.com from the homepage of its official web site (http://www.iowa.gov). Under the new policy, visitors who click on the prominently placed graphic, "Looking for books about Iowa? Click Here Now," will be directed instead to a page with links to both Amazon.com and Booksense.com, an e-commerce site for independent bookstores. The decision followed a letter sent by the owners of nine Iowa bookstores. Continue reading
In a decision that may galvanize action in other states, the California Board of Equalization (BOE) has ruled that online bookseller Borders.com must collect state sales tax. Under a 1992 Supreme Court decision, Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, states cannot compel out-of-state companies to collect sales taxes unless the company has a physical presence, or "nexus," in the state. Continue reading
Arkansas has enacted a law that clarifies that retailers with stores in the state must collect sales taxes on any online purchases made by state residents. As noted in the story above, under a 1992 Supreme Court decision, Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, states cannot compel out-of-state companies to collect sales taxes unless the company has a physical presence, or "nexus," in the state. Continue reading
Efforts to apply sales taxes equally to both bricks-and-mortar and online retailers have made substantial progress since our last update, yet it is likely to be several more years before a level playing field becomes a reality. The Supreme Court has ruled that states cannot compel out-of-state companies, including internet and catalogue retailers, to collect state and local sales taxes. Continue reading
In December, representatives of the 29 states participating in the Streamlined Sales Tax Project (SSTP) approved model legislation that they hope state legislatures will adopt this year. If enacted, the legislation would move states one step closer to a sales tax system that applies equally to both traditional and electronic retailers. A US Supreme Court ruling bars states from requiring remote sellers, including mail order and internet companies, to collect sales tax. Continue reading
In an effort to raise funds, thousands of public schools are encouraging parents and neighbors to shop on-line. More than a dozen new companies, such as Schoolpop.com and SchoolCash.com, have created web portals that enable users to shop a hundreds of on-line retailers. Continue reading
In September, California Governor Gray Davis vetoed a bill that would have clarified state law to require that all retailers with a physical presence in the state collect sales tax on internet transactions. Continue reading