Today, Governor Brown has signed the bill to delay for one year, but ultimately collect, the online sales tax. As a result, Amazon agreed to cancel its planned referendum on the budget-balancing policy that was enacted as part of this year’s budget.
Amazon had spent millions to collect the signatures–and if they had filed them and proceeded with the referendum, they would have put at risk hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for core state functions like education, health, and human services.
That’s why Health Access helped, working with the HHS Network, to create www.thinkbeforeyouclickca.org, a website to educate Californians about the impact of Amazon’s actions. We hope that this concerted opposition of a broad coalition representing low- and moderate-income families was a signal to Amazon, among many, that they needed to change course.
We are pleased that California has closed a loophole that benefitted Amazon and other online retailers but hurt the rest of the state. This was an important step in the larger struggle to find and close corporate tax loopholes and irresponsible tax breaks in our state.
Revenue solutions should be our priority in further efforts to balance the budget. After cutting $14.6 billion in essential services, it’s now time to look to lost revenues to fix our state’s budget woes. Amazon was just one example, among many, of companies that are neglecting their obligations to our state or benefitting from loopholes that need to be changed. We thank the Governor and Legislature and ask that when they return in January that they take more steps to close all revenue loopholes.