This is not going to help Gov. Chris Christie’s chances of landing the veep slot: The state of New Jersey has reached a deal with Internet retail giant Amazon.com to build two distribution warehouses there as well as collect the state’s seven-percent sales tax.
How well I remember, in my politically formative teen years, Gov. Jim Florio raising the state’s sales tax (among other taxes) from six percent to seven percent — paving the way for the rise of a certain future EPA administrator.
Gov. Jim Corzine increased the state’s sales tax again to seven percent, which is what residents will now pay on every purchase from Amazon.com — a grievous sin for economic libertarians who have long envisioned the Internet as a paradise of tax-free commerce.
Does Christie’s deal with Amazon represent a new tax, per se, or the application of an existing one?
Deborah Bell of the Rumson-Fair Haven Patch reports:
“The good thing is that there will be construction and permanent jobs created. The bad thing is that they’ll be charging sales tax,” State Senator Joseph Vitale (D-19) said.
Vitale, who represents Woodbridge, said he understands how it could be a burden to state residents who will now join the 13 other states where Amazon made deals to collect sales tax.
“It’s difficult to support additional taxes, but it’s not a new tax. It’s consistent with the law that has been around for all these years,” Vitale said …
“In the long run, though, it’ll work out for anyone. It’s a long term equation. They’ll pay property taxes, it’s a free market thing,” he said. “It’s a little convoluted, but it works in the long run.”
Characterize it as one must, but here’s what it sounds like to me: The governor of a state with a revenue shortfall is trying to raise new revenue.
That’s simply too hot to touch for the Romney presidential ticket.