The battle between the states and online retailers such as Amazon and others is about to become more heated. Both sides have drawn lines in the sand and are not going to budge no matter how many threats are made. Amazon, because of its huge Web presence, seems to be the main target that the states are focusing on. The main thrust of the states appears to be the premise that if you have a physical presence in our state, you must collect sales tax. Amazon has sought protection from a claim by the state of Texas, stating that its distribution center, located in Texas, was an affiliate of Amazon. In the state of California, Amazon has threatened to cut off some 10,000 affiliates that make a living selling products on Amazon. Neither Texas nor California seem to be backing down and other states are now joining the effort to tax online sales. The states are claiming that the lack of online sales tax also hurts local brick and mortar stores, because the large online retailers can sell items that cost consumers less, especially when it comes to expensive electronics. States also claim that they are losing billions in sales tax revenues. States further state that shopping locally provides jobs, which is good for the local economy. Tax opponents claim that city, county, state, and federal governments have overspent these tax dollars for frivolous pet projects. It is also claimed by some that taxing online sales would become a nightmare for some smaller retailers online who would also be forced into having to collect taxes. This in turn would force many mom and pop online companies out of business. No matter whether a sales tax is imposed or not, I believe I would continue to shop online. I enjoy the convenience of letting my fingers do the work without having to go to a store and fight the crowds to obtain the same product. I also find it less expensive to shop online now that gas prices are continuing to climb. So for me it is more about convenience than cost. Don’t get me wrong. I checked out prices as well to make sure I am getting the best deal. But what about you? Would you stop shopping online if sales tax was imposed? Comments welcome. Source – SF Gate