Nov 10, 2017

South Carolina says Amazon will cost it $500 million in sales tax

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Photo: Ted S. Warren / AP

Amazon will cost the State of South Carolina $500 million in sales tax over the next five years, the state's tax authority said in a motion filed this week, CNBC reports.

Why it matters: This is yet another example of states getting serious in their effort to collect sales taxes on cross-state e-commerce transactions. The failure to do so is costing states more than $1 billion per year and contributing to persistent state and local budget constraints even as economic growth accelerates.

  • Though Amazon now collects sales tax on all goods it sells from its own inventory, it does not necessarily collect tax for third-party affiliate sales.
  • The failure of Amazon or these third parties to collect sales tax cost South Carolina $57 million last year, the state says. Amazon didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

What the law says: As it stands, retailers aren't required to collect sales taxes on goods sold in states where they don't have a physical presence, though customers still technically owe (but rarely pay) these duties.

What's next: States are challenging this standard in jurisdictions around the country, with the most closely watched case being a South Dakota petition filed earlier this month to the Supreme Court, asking it to review whether it can constitutionally require retailers in other states to collect South Dakota sales tax.

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Police officer in George Floyd killing arrested

A protester with a sign with George Floyd's last words. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer involved in the killing of George Floyd, was taken into custody Friday by Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, according to the Star Tribune's Briana Bierschbach.

The state of play: Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said that there was no additional charging information yet, as that decision is in the jurisdiction of the Hennepin County Attorney's Office.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

Trump forces fateful choices on Twitter and Facebook

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's war with Twitter is confronting social media platforms with a hard dilemma: whether to take fuller responsibility for what people say on their services, or to step back and assume a more quasi-governmental role.

The big picture: Facebook is trying to be more like a government committing to impartiality and protecting free speech and building mechanisms for arbitration. Twitter, pushed by Trump's inflammatory messages, is opting to more aggressively enforce conduct rules on its private property, like a mall owner enforcing rules inside the gates.

Updated 33 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 5,851,494 — Total deaths: 362,238 — Total recoveries — 2,445,181Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 1,729,185 — Total deaths: 101,706 — Total recoveries: 399,991 — Total tested: 15,646,041Map.
  3. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  4. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March —How the U.S. might distribute a vaccine.
  5. Transportation: National mobility keeps rising as more states reopen economies.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Saying goodbye to U.S. megacities.