Think Before You Click!

Every Californian has been affected by the cuts to balance California’s budget, none more than low-income seniors, students and people with disabilities, and all Californians who use our state’s health system.

Now, online retail giant Amazon.com wants to overturn the one small victory we won this year in the broad effort to close corporate tax loopholes: the Sales Tax law that would require online vendors to collect sales tax just as California’s “bricks and mortar” vendors do. This new law will provide California with $200 million in desperately needed revenues to prevent further cuts to vital public services to health, education, and other key areas. It also helps local business by closing the loophole that lets online retailers like Amazon.com undercut them.

Health Access California is proud to be part of the Health and Human Services Network that is pushing back against Amazon’s effort to force additional cuts to California’s core services.

Fight back by telling Amazon.com to play by the same rules all other California businesses do! If Amazon.com is unwilling to contribute to the well-being of our state, then we need to tell Amazon.com that we won’t contribute to their profits!

Earlier this week, we helped launch a website, http://www.ThinkBeforeYouClickCA.org, which was covered in major media outlets, generating headlines like:

* Amazon boycotted over e-tailer’s flight from state

* Group Seeks Amazon Boycott Over Sales Tax Fight

* California advocacy groups urge boycott of Amazon

* Groups Launch Boycott of Amazon

* California groups rally to boycott Amazon

Why is this important?

California loses more than $1 billion each year in uncollected taxes on Internet sales because out-of-state online retailers like Amazon.com refuse to collect state and local sales taxes owed on consumers’ purchases. This has given online retailers an unfair advantage over “brick and mortar” businesses who have no choice but to charge their customers sales tax.

As important, by not charging their California customers state and local sales tax, Amazon.com has deprived our state of hundreds of millions of dollars over the years.

Over time, the lack of revenues have helped contribute to wide-scale cutbacks to essential health care and human services programs that serve the most vulnerable Californians. Amazon.com has made billions by doing business in California. Now they want to overturn legislation passed at a time of unprecedented fiscal crisis, after California cut $14.6 billion from basic public services ranging from schools and parks to health care for children, seniors and people with disabilities.

The recently passed Sales and Use Tax Law would eliminate an unfair advantage for giant online retailers like Amazon.com competing with locally owned and family operated businesses in California. The Sales and Use Tax Law would generate approximately $200 million in additional annual sales tax revenues for the State of California – helping to lessen the need to make steep cuts to critical health care and human service programs.

There’s no reason why Amazon.com or any other large corporation should have an unfair advantage over local businesses in California. All we ask is that Amazon.com and other online retailers follow the same rules as everyone else doing business in our state.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.
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