Earlier this month, Ed Stevens, founder/CEO of order management system provider Shopatron, came out in favor of AB 155. If the bill, which recently passed by the California State Assembly, passes into law, it will mean items bought online in California from many out-of-state e-retailers will be subject to the same sales tax as items purchased from retailers located in California.
“We believe everyone should be responsible for paying their fair share of state and local taxes, and that customers who purchase locally should not be punished with higher prices,” Stevens said in a press release.
Steven says that 20 years ago, when Internet sales were in their infancy, the tax revenue from online sales was marginal. But as ecommerce has ballooned, so has the amount of lost tax revenue: In California, collecting the 8.25% tax on qualified transactions could amount to $1 billion in increased revenue for the state this year.
We caught up with Stevens at IRCE 2010 in San Diego on June 15. In the following video, Stevens explains why he believes out of state merchants need to ante up to help California, and why he thinks other states need to pass the same type of legislation.