California braced for a fight this year when its budget deal included a provision to force online retailers — Amazon.com by far the most prominent among them — to collect sales taxes on purchases made by the state’s residents. This was something new. Other states have passed so-called “Amazon laws” requiring online tax collection, but the company has generally defied them. It took New York to court. It canceled its relationships with affiliates in Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, North Carolina and Rhode Island, then argued that it wasn’t required to collect sales tax in those states because it lacked a presence there. It even offered Texas 6,000 jobs if only the state would give up the idea of forcing it to collect.
By Josh Goodman, Stateline Staff Writer