Beginning of National Trend? California Online Shoppers to Pay Sales Tax

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A new California law lets the state collect sales tax from online retailers, with Gov. Jerry Brown saying the move will "create tens of thousands of jobs and inject hundreds of millions of dollars" into the state's ailing economy while leveling "the playing field between online retailers and California's brick-and-mortar businesses."

Assemblyman Charles Calderon authored the bill that revises California's definition of "a retailer." The state's backing may lend online retailers like Amazon as they push for a similar federal bill.

Barring enactment of national legislation, California will begin collecting online sales tax on Sept. 15, 2012. In exchange for the window of time, Amazon said it would create at least 10,000 full-time jobs and hire 25,000 seasonal employees by the end of 2015.

The California Board of Equalization estimates that the state loses more than $1 billion a year from uncollected use taxes, with at least $83 million lost from Amazon alone.