Internet tax idea is taxing shoppers' patience - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Internet tax idea is taxing shoppers' patience

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(CBS 8) - California is targeting online shopping to help deal with the budget crisis. Right now, we don't pay sales tax for purchases from internet retailers such as Amazon.com, but politicians are pushing to change that.

Buy from Amazon.com, Overstock.com, even iTunes and you don't pay taxes, but buy those same items from a store in San Diego and you do.

"There is fairness for the local merchant, is really at issue here," SDSU accounting professor Katie Jaques said. "All the states need the money. This is not a California issue by any means. Many other states are doing this."

Lawmakers in Sacramento are looking to balance a now overdue budget, and it's estimated the online tax could generate over $300 million a year.

"The revenue the governor is projecting is hokum. It's based on the idea that nobody changes what they're doing. In accounting, it's called static analysis," SD Tax Fighters Chairman Richard Rider said.

Rider is against the internet tax for several reasons. That said, he believes an internet tax is eventually coming, and he's not alone.

"The state is looking for revenue sources all places possible, and this is one place," USD professor Alan Gin said.

As Gin puts it, in these economic times there are sure to be losers.

"Whether it's letting teachers go or other government employees go or collecting more in taxes, It all tends to have a negative effect," he said.

So coming soon, that $114 Kindle will cost you almost 10 bucks more, and that $1.29 song on iTunes will be $1.40.

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