NY Lawmakers Approve Internet Tax

Governor expected to sign measure

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A new bill called the "Amazon Tax" has been approved by New York Legislators and is now awaiting the approval of New York governor David Patterson.

If Patterson signs the bill into law it will require online retailers, such as Amazon to collect sales tax on items shipped to New York. The bill is estimated to generate $50 million in tax revenue for the state.

James Sherin - President CEO of Retail Council New York
James Sherin – President CEO
(Photo Credit: RetailCouncilNY)

James Sherin, president CEO of the Retail Council New York, said the tax measure would level the playing field between New York retailers and online retailers who are not based in New York.

"This is a first step – but a critical one – in our ongoing battle to level the sales tax playing field between New York retailers and the out-of-state Internet giants that have, for years, capitalized on an unfair and unintended competitive advantage driven solely by tax policy,"Sherin told internetnews.

Amazon representatives said they were reviewing the legislation. They believe that the state law will be challenged in court.

The state Business Council is against the idea of requiring online companies to charge sales tax. "Albany invented the Amazon.com tax because they failed to cut spending," the council’s Heather Briccetti told the NYP. "As long as they don’t recognize the economic reality and continue to increase state spending, they’ll keep inventing new taxes like this one."

The new tax measure could compel other states to enact laws similar to New York. Some lawmakers though don’t think the measure would hold up in court. They say the courts have been reluctant to allow states to regulate Internet transactions.


NY Lawmakers Approve Internet Tax
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  • http://www.icweb.com Techman

    I’ve dealt with the automotive after market and California has a similar law except it does not collect from sales outside it’s state (which I believe is outside its legal jurisdiction).

    To get around this what CA has done is look for drop-shipments that originate in CA and are destined for a CA address and they collect the taxes from the drop shipper in CA instead of the company in another state which sold the product.  I have been in disagreement with this and believe NY is pushing their limits. If I do not have a business entity in NY then why would I be responsible to report and pay sales tax in that state?

    And do these states really have the manpower and fortitude to handle such reporting and collections outside their legal jurisdiction? If I didn’t pay how would they collect without enacting a federal jurisdiction.

    Really getting sick of politicians trying to find new sources or increases in taxes to support their spending.

    Isn’t that kind of like going to your boss and saying I can’t afford payments on the BMW I purchased so you have to give me a raise.

    I mean the government is supposed to be working for its citizens right?

    Government has gotten way out of hand with way too much power and disregard for the majority instead of the wealthy minority.

    • Guest

      Just one more good reason to get out of New York, it is a draconian state which doesn’t have a penny yet continues to spend like they have hit oil?

      • Chris

        NY is so stupid. They do not realize that most of the companies and affiliates are already planning to move out of state. IN FACT, no Internet company will even open their doors in NY state again. Not to mention all the Internet and Affiliate employees who will be unemployed as a result of this tax. Pulling out of NY!!!

        • Alex M

          Actually, this tax affects ALL purchases made online, even from companies with NO presence in New York, which is why someone in a previous comment rightfully questioned the legality of this law under the US Constitution, since it does specifically forbid states from regulating interstate commerce.

  • http://donscycleware.com Hacked off voter

    This is a very bad idea. If David Patterson signs the bill NY voters need to make sure he and every legislator would backed the bill are never reelected.

  • Guest

    As NYS Internet e-commerece retailers, we already have the nightmare of charging NYS tax at the county and/or city rate of where the order is delivered. We do not have an across the board sales tax rate. It varies from county to county and a few extra city tax rates thrown in the mix.Then add in the discount rate for clothing and the nightmare gets worse trying to keep it all straightened out as to who gets what! Plus we are required to charge tax on shipping even though we do not pay tax to ship. Go figure.

    If NYS passes this and then other states follow, we small businesses might as well throw in the towel as we will be spending a great deal more time just keeping the various state  taxes straight and less time on the business at hand. I don’t see how any good will come from this for small businesses who don’t have the manpower to have someone who’s only job would be to concentrate on sales tax record keeping.

  • Mr. Stop Stealing My Money

    Democrats are totally out of control in NY endlessly raising every type of tax imaginable with blatant disregard for these rough times New Yorkers are experiencing.

    This comes as no suprise and I expect things to get much worse at the federal level when anyone of these leading clowns like Obama or Hillary wins in the Presidential race come November.

    People really need to stand up and stop this money grab that subsidizes this endless waste and expansion of government at both the state and federal level.

  • Guest

    We understand why NY is cash strapped.  It’s expensive to pander to their idiotic coalitions they sold their souls to.  Those special causes we never really know about for debt repayment for the office they hold.  Unfortunately, many of these people have never had a real job where they are responsible for employees, health care, and general overhead (self-employed or otherwise).  For those that don’t know, Politicians, rarely, if ever, pay for anything out of their own pockets.  Yes, we pay for their livelihood; parties, cars, dinners, events, airfare, gas, housing, general food, personnel, and as we just discovered, concubines. All of it.  That’s one of many reasons why they are so wealthy when they leave office.  The issue is they have no concept of reality (real world).  They spend excessively because the money is easily accessible and somewhat endless.  Taxation is the government’s business.  They need raises, of sorts, and we pay.   Lastly, instead of the political red herring of business fairness, consider all of us ‘unfair’ internet shoppers who just got nailed with a reduction of after tax income of 8% plus- and this at a time when we are assured of a recession.  Notice… not a word on this important part of the law.  Genius!

  • Guest

    The only real losers are NYS residents (as usual).  Patterson is as bad or worse than Spitzer!!!

  • anonymous

    These SOB’s ought to be executed, evil f—s. Screw them. Just for the principle of it, I should find a friend. And local business owners whining about it taking away business? Well, they have inherent advantages being local; such as customers being able to walk back in with problems. Did it ever occur to them to say, “hey we shouldn’t be taxed either,” rather than wishing evil unto their neighbor?

    What this is going to do is drive more people out of NYS. NYS sucks; one of the worst states to live in in the nation, right up there with California. A friend of mine is going to North Carolina; I told him he “was going to a better place”. People are also going to start having things shipped to friends in neighboring states, then pick them up when they visit; or even shipped to vacation homes they rent.

  • Guest

    I’m just wondering if Amazon starts doing phone / mail order, they shouldn’t have to charge NY Tax on their orders. Its not thru Internet Ordering.

  • Guest

    As a resident of NY for 28 years I can assure everyone that NY is overrated, especially NYC.  I live in the armpit of brooklyn and most public services are getting astonomicaly expensive and poorly implemented.  Subways are decrepid and filty and always in repair. roads are overcrowded.  the air polution is high.  Did I mention the people?  We have them all.  Everyone is their own special intrest group of every class, race, ethnicity etc.  Where is all this tax revenue going???  It certainly is not going to improving the state or cities for that matter.  What is funny is to listen to people deluding themselves into believing that this place is special and worth staying.  They spout buzz words and advantages like "culture", "arts", museums.  Please do yourself a favor and listen to me…It is all nonsense.

  • Guest


    Another reason the politicians  in NY State should be spending lots of time in prison. Raise raise raise the taxes of the people. Why isn’t it "How do we cut"? Never will the politicians do the right thing here in NY. In a few years I will be retiring and can’t wait to move out of NY forever.
    • http://www.webpronews.com Guest

      If you can’t wait to move out of NY forever, why wait?  retirement?  Hmmm, seems you want the benefits of working there, but not the price of living there.

      Many folks have moved from places such as this into my area, then complain all the time that our roads aren’t like where they come from, complain that services aren’t like where they come from but enjoy the lower taxes that aren’t like where they come from.

      I agree completely that many politicians should spend time in prison for the way they are raising taxes.  I agree completely that they need to figure out "how do we cut?" . 

      So, stay in NY and fight the policticans and their tax policies, or leave now.

      Don’t wait until you retire, move here, and complain like all the others.



  • Guest

    Once again these THIEVES are at it again to rip off consumers.




  • 35 Year Business Owner in NY

    Rather than initiate something that will stimulate business and benefit the consumers of NY, the solution seems to always be the same. Take as much as possible without leaving anyone better off.

    This philosophy is archaic and contagious. Running away from NY is running away and Un-Amaerican.

    Our voices must unite in solidarity and simply REFUSE to tolerate, abide and comply with unfair taxation.

    Our country eminated from the belief that unfair taxation without representation would not be tolerated. When did we stop caring enough to do something about it.

  • jerome gardner

    NYS in its infinite wisdom chose to ignore the US Constitution and impose this illegal tax on its residents.  Article 1, Section 9, clause 5, specifically addresses this issue.  I quote "NO TAX OR DUTY SHALL BE LAID ON ARTICLES EXPORTED FROM ANY STATE.."  It’s that simple.  I would think that even the dumbest politition should understand that sentence.

    • Joe

      1000% correct sir. But the wealthy elitists, and the corrupt NY political system, believe their most important constituents who own a tiny sliver of real estate called Manhattan are more important. They believe they are the center of the universe. They are WRONG. No one is above the law.

  • Nomad

    I am new to living in NY and am in the process of considering where to live.  I am from another wacko state.   As such I wonder if this would even be a discussion if NYC were slit off as another state?  How did the votes layout per upstate vs. NYC? 

    Geogrphically New York is an incredible state.  It is a shame to make it unaffordable to those who are not on the system or already rich.

  • Seth

    ‘We want to level the playing field for ny retailers.’

    So f*cking retarded these jag offs. So painfully ignorant and retarded. Even the bullshit they make up to justify their misdeeds is blatantly and historically wrong.

    They can’t even make their lies reasonable, these are the people we have running our government.


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  • Serp

    I just got hit with this.  I needed a propriatary piece of equipment for a laptop, which I obviously can’t get at a brick and mortor store.  I got hit with shipping and then a tax on top of that shipping charge, meaning I paid roughly a 30% internet tax on this item.  That is simply too much.

    Not only does this kill small businesses, obviously, it punishes NY residents for trying to get material they can not otherwise get in-state.  I agree in that I can’t see how this is possibly constitutional, and it should be obvious it isn’t.  In my opinion, this means these politicians, who should know better, should be jailed for political crimes.

    The NYS residents though appear to me to be retarded.  Why does this continue?  Because simply put, these officials are continually elected and can get away with this.  Only an NY resident is stupid enough to believe the Driver Responsibility program, extremely low speed limits, and red light cameras are all used because of "safety" concerns.  Likewise only an NYR can possible buy the online sales tax is to "level the playing field."  I think i’ll move to New Jersey, I’ve had it.

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