In the big budget deal this year was a provision known as the Amazon Tax or the Internet Sales Tax. Officially it’s an expansion of the Use Tax. Whatever you call it, it’s an unconstitutional* cash grab, attempting to force out-of-state Amazon to pay California sales tax.

The tax has already killed businesses in California that depended on revenue from Amazon and other affiliate program hosts, who were forced to shut out California residents in response to the tax. Even though the tax itself is set to take effect January 1, out of state retailers needed to take action to protect themselves in advance. So as a result, state revenues have been reduced, not raised, by this bill. The already lagging state economy has been worsened.

So a referendum will be put on the ballot by the people, to be voted on by the people, to stop this harmful, illegal tax. It could pass, too. Early polling hasn’t been bad. So the Democrats are going to try passing a new bill, starting in the Senate, to change the tax to make it take effect immediately.

The trick is that by passing the tax as urgent, it will nullify the referendum under the state Constitution. And worse, to get support for this, Democrats have effectively bought off eBay to turn on Amazon, by making tweak to the bill to exempt eBay from having to collect tax. Convenient, huh?

So, California, it’s time to take action and defeat this attempt to nullify the referendum.

Five Republicans are being targeted in the hopes of getting them to support this subversion of process in California, and ultimately to support an illegal tax hike. But they all could do to hear from us.

So call your state Senator today and urge them to reject any attempt to subvert the referendum process, and to vote no on any bill to strengthen the Amazon Tax or any Internet sales tax.

My Senator, Bill Emmerson, said in April that the people should decide on the budget. It’s time for him now to back up those words, and vote no.

* “The Congress shall have Power… To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes;” Last I checked, the California Assembly and Senate are not the Congress.

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