Today California has a new source of revenue to help its budget crisis woes: Amazon.com started collecting sales tax in the state of California. Last year, California passed a state law requiring Amazon to collect sales tax, but allowed them a little over a year to set up the infrastructure to move forward with that requirement.
Amazon has been the source of many of my shopping highs and life joys. You’ll understand this if you have ever been stationed in a remote base and have found yourself hungry, exhausted, or tired of loading up cranky children in the car – only to drive for thirty minutes to pick up bulk diapers or that ‘one thing’ that you desperately need. Once you get to said store, chances are pretty good that you’ll be surrounded by peculiar people or followed around the store by a disturbed person, who may look at your children a little too long or follow you to your car.
So here’s the skinny: if you’re like me and were trying to think of ways to avoid paying sales tax, it’s not going to happen. I thought about changing my credit card to my home of record which isn’t on the list of states to be affected, but I’m out of luck on that option. I discovered Amazon is collecting sales tax based off the shipping address… so there is no skirting around it unless you’re shipping to another state not currently collecting tax.
Will the sales tax issue impact the buying power on Amazon from military families? I doubt it. Gas prices are still at an all-time high and Amazon has a very effective way of pricing merchandise, many times cheaper than brick and mortar stores even with the added sales tax. Factor in the convenience of two day shopping with Amazon Mom or Amazon Student for free, or the free shipping with over $25 purchased, it is still a wildly popular option for many of us. I don’t think the UPS delivery driver is in any danger of losing his job around base.