Government Finance and Operations 09/30/2011
AB 155 (Calderon) – Chaptered
Chapter No. 13, Statutes of 2011
The Governor has signed AB 155, by Assembly Member Charles Calderon, which deals with the collection of state and local use taxes, and which was significantly amended on the final day of the legislative session.
One of this year’s budget trailer bills, ABX1 28, redefined which retailers are required to collect sales and use taxes on sales to Californians, and was designed to capture sales made by internet companies like Amazon.com. Amazon filed a referendum against that bill and began collecting signatures to overturn it. Once a referendum is filed, the law in question in suspended until the referendum succeeds or fails. AB 155 then became a vehicle for circumventing the referendum, and the state started negotiating with Amazon, as widely reported in newspapers.
AB 155 now enacts the results of those negotiations. The requirement for collecting sales and use taxes return to its pre-ABX1 28 status for the time being. However, the requirement returns in about a year if Congress takes no action, or if Congress adopts a law authorizing states to collect taxes on the types of sales in question but California does not adopt it.
CSAC supports measures that increase compliance with the sales and use tax.
The Governor signed AB 155 last Friday, September 23.