California legislation would tighten rules on Internet sales tax

California lawmakers are pushing measures that would require online merchants to collect sales tax on more transactions in a move to help shore up the state’s sagging finances and level the playing field for bricks-and-mortar retailers.Mindy Benham knows how to pinch a penny. That’s why the Costa Mesa resident does a lot of her shopping on the Internet. She particularly favors Inc. because the giant e-retailer doesn’t collect California state sales taxes on her purchases.

That tax-free ride, though, could be running out of gas.For the third time in three years, California lawmakers are pushing for legislation to make it harder for Internet sellers to avoid collecting sales taxes, and prospects for getting it passed are stronger than ever.Passing the bill is a question of “e-fairness,” said Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), who is sponsoring one of several Internet sales tax bills.,0,7636764.story

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