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ARA corrects record on Arizona sales tax by Michelle Ahlmer, Arizona Retailers Association


Arizona Commerce Authority Director Don Cardon is incorrect in stating that Arizona does not tax Internet sales. The fact is that Internet sales ARE taxed in Arizona. Purchase a flat-screen TV from bestbuy.com, you’ll pay sales tax. Buy a new patio set from homedepot.com, you’ll pay sales tax. Get a new laptop from walmart.com, you’ll pay sales tax. Order chlorine tablets for your pool from lesliespool.com, you’ll pay sales tax. Do some shopping at target.com, you’ll pay sales tax. Order a book from barnesandnoble. com, borders.com or changinghands.com – your Arizona local independent bookseller – and guess what: you’ll pay sales tax.


Order any of these items from amazon.com, however, and sales tax is still OWED, but Amazon expects the consumer to be responsible for sending the corresponding sales tax to the State of Arizona. Really?


Letters Tax hike


Mayor Jay Tibshraeny just can’t seem to get his story straight. Several weeks ago, the Mayor had the audacity to call the recent property tax hike, approved by the city council, a “tax decrease.” Baloney. Concerned Chandler Citizen Alex Hamilton called him on this deliberately misleading characterization in a letter to this paper. Well, the Mayor has changed his story and is now calling the property tax hike an “adjustment.” Come on, Mr. Mayor, how about a little straight talk for a change? The Mayor is also on the record that the recently passed property tax hike would be used for “basic infrastructure.” However, the ink wasn’t even dry on the property tax hike bill when we read that big raises have


This tax evasion is what Amazon has termed a “favorable business climate.” How is this inequity favorable for any business but Amazon? Why would the State of Arizona not expect Amazon to play by the same rules as all other retailers in the state? The fact of the matter is that when we allow Amazon to play by different rules, we lose … and we lose big. A University of Tennessee study puts the price tag at approximately $300 million. This is the estimated amount of sales tax revenue that Arizona is losing every year that Amazon is allowed to skirt their responsibility as a business operating in our state. Given the state of our local economy, can we really afford to continue giving Amazon a pass while we ask everyone else to pay their fair share? The Arizona Retailers Association advocates for a favorable business environment for ALL Arizona businesses and we welcome Amazon’s continued investment in our state. Four million square feet is a significant presence and we look forward to Amazon’s continued growth. In return for the privilege of doing business in Arizona, however, we expect them to play by our rules – and we expect the State of Arizona to enforce them.


Opinion


July 16 - August 5, 2011 37


to theEditor


been approved for City employees. Raises! In this, the third year of the most severe recession since the Great Depression?


The Mayor says proudly that his budget “avoids cuts in city services.” Hello, Mr. Mayor? Anyone home? We expect cuts in city services during these tough economic times. Not tax increases. Chandler doesn’t have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem. And the Mayor appears to be at the center of it. But not to worry, the Mayor will have a new story next week.


Bob Morris, on behalf of Concerned Chandler Citizens Letters to the Editor


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