I do a lot of business with Amazon from buying real world products, to books on my Kindle (and the Kindle), to storage services via their S3 online storage system. Amazon is a company I feel good supporting and they seem committed to ensuring I continue to feel good about supporting them. One of the things Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos has been fighting is the attempt by various states to collect taxes from Amazon’s customers. Well Mr. Bezos came out and stated that the states’ attempts to demand taxes is unconstitutional:
Although a growing number of states are demanding that Amazon collect and pay tax on sales within their borders, such demands are “interference in interstate commerce” and prohibited by the Constitution, Bezos said.
“We’re no different from other big chains of retailers,” Bezos said. “They don’t collect sales taxes in states where they don’t have [employees], either.”
I’m not a fan of taxation and watching Mr. Bezos fight government attempts to extort money from his organization has been fun. Amazon has demonstrated the willingness to put their money where their mouth is and even left Texas due to the state’s attempt to extort money from Amazon.
I don’t think Bezos understands the fact that the Constitution isn’t exactly a document that is taken seriously by our government but I do like the argument. I hope Amazon continues to fight the good fight and resist the attempt by states to take productive money from the private sector and squander it on worthless government projects. There is even an huge advantage to states not trying to take money from Amazon as those states are where Amazon will decide to build their warehouses and data centers:
This month, when Amazon announced plans to build or expand three warehouses, it praised the governors of Arizona and Indiana, who didn’t demand sales tax collection. “We are committed to growth in Indiana because Gov. Daniels and other state officials have demonstrated their commitment to Amazon jobs and investments,” said Paul Misener, Amazon VP for global public policy.
Those warehouse jobs very well could have been in Texas but alas that state decided they were going to fuck over their citizenry by ensuring Amazon moved to a friendlier state. Now Arizona and Indiana get to reap the rewards for treating businesses that employ people right.