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Amazon, other tax foes launch new committee

Opponents of the state’s new internet tax law rolled out their new committee Thursday that will work to put a repeal measure on next year’s ballot and get it passed.

The “More Jobs Not Taxes” committee actually filed its statement of organization July 20 and has not yet reported receiving any funding, but its website says it will have major funding from online retail giant Amazon, and you can bet it’ll be major indeed.

“With state unemployment over 11 percent and companies moving to business-friendly states like Arizona and Nevada, Californians have had it with Sacramento politicians passing new tax laws that hurt the state’s economy instead of focusing on creating jobs,” Marc Duerr, the California Business Alliance’s legislative services director, said in the new committee’s news release. “This new tax law will come at the expense of California taxpayers who will be forced to pay even more to fuel the politicians’ wasteful spending.”

Performance Marketing Association Executive Director Rebecca Madigan said her group “believes Californians should have a voice and a choice on the harmful new tax law that will cost the state jobs and investment. We are encouraged at the overwhelming response to the efforts of the More Jobs Not Taxes referendum campaign and remain confident that it will collect more than enough signatures to place this measure on the ballot.”

The committee has until Sept. 27 to gather valid signatures from at least 504,760 registered voters in order to put the repeal measure on the June 2012 ballot.

Federal law says states can tax sales only if the seller has a physical presence in the state. California sought to get past that issue by letting the state tax board collect from any retailer with a so-called business “nexus” or connection with an affiliate inside California. Supporters say it would make the tax code fairer, forcing Internet retailers to collect taxes just as brick-and-mortar stores already do. Several other states have enacted similar statutes.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.