N. Carolina plan to tax Internet sales is drawing protests

August 3, 2009 

Christopher Kaminski is ready to leave Chapel Hill and North Carolina over a proposed tax on online purchases that are linked through Web sites based in North Carolina.

The measure appears headed for passage without a battle.

Large online retailers such as Amazon.com and Overstock.com pay commissions to Web sites that steer customers to products on Amazon or Overstock. The tentative budget agreement lawmakers reached last week would require the big online retailers to collect sales tax on those purchases, treating them like brick-and-mortar stores in the state.

Amazon and Overstock have canceled their commission programs in North Carolina, and Web site operators in the state, such as Kaminski, are calling the plan a job killer.

Kaminski, who runs CouponClock.com, was one of dozens of Web site operators who wrote legislators to oppose the tax.

Kaminski said he would have to leave the state. "Instead of making money," he wrote, "North Carolina will see a decrease of over $30,000 in tax revenue from my family alone."

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