Group Calls For Sales Tax Fairness As Amazon Opens In Cambridge

By Anthony Silva, WBZ NewsRadio 1030 New England Business

CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – Amazon is opening its first outpost in Massachusetts amid calls that the company start charging state sales tax.

Amazon has opened a small development lab in Cambridge.

The head of the Massachusetts Retailers Association, Jon Hurst, says it’s time for online companies to compete fairly.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Anthony Silva reports

“It’s really an issue of collection and remittance,” says Hurst. “The obligation to do that is whether you have jobs in the state.”

Hurst says it’s time to level the playing field. “Right now they have got a six and a quarter percent head start over mom and pop stores,” says Hurst. “It’s important for our main streets, important for the future of retailing, that these big online sellers play by the same rules.”

In a statement to the WBZ newsroom, Amazon says it supports a national approach to the sales tax, and not state by state solutions. Amazon says federal legislation is needed to permit interstate sales tax collection to level the playing field.

The company has been hiring software engineers and other technical personal for its new Cambridge outpost.

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