Amazon is cranking up an initiative campaign in California to prevent application of sales taxes to any portion of Internet commerce. This is in response to legislation there — and in Arkansas — that applies state sales taxes to Amazon affiliates (locally based websites that get a commission off sales that arise from Amazon links on those websites.)

This is the real battle and it’s one that Congress could solve with uniform legislatiion, but so has been unable to do. The only fair option is to apply sales taxes to all retailers or none. The latter option is not a good option for governments that depend heavily on sales taxes, which have been eroding of late around here in part because of a shift of commerce from bricks-and-mortar stores to the web.


Amazon v. Walmart. A battle of titans. It almost certainly will produce collateral damage.