AP NEWS

Amazon starts collecting sales tax from Alaska residents

January 31, 2019

KODIAK, Alaska (AP) — Amazon has started charging for city sales taxes on certain products in Alaska following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that struck down a previous online tax standard.

Kodiak residents who inquired with the company about the new 7 percent tax received a message stating that Amazon will be “collecting local tax on all orders delivered to destinations within Alaska,” the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported Wednesday.

Amazon did not immediately respond to the newspaper’s request for comment. Its statement to customers cited “changes in our business relationships and activities” as the reason for the tax.

“We do not have any more specific information at this time,” the Amazon statement said. “For additional information, please contact your local tax authorities.”

Kodiak has not taken any action to implement the tax and is investigating what to do next, said Susan Smith, sales tax representative for the city finance department.

“The city hasn’t done anything about that yet,” Smith said. “We just found out about that just this week.”

Alaska doesn’t have a state sales tax, but several cities do.

The new online tax has hit cities across the state, including Juneau, Bethel and Sitka, said Nils Andreassen, the executive director of the Alaska Municipal League. The organization is gearing up to become the administrative body that will assist Alaska communities in collecting the new online taxes.

The organization is aiming to become “a one-stop shop for collecting and remitting online sales tax,” Andreassen said.

“AML is leading the charge on this and advocating for municipalities to get their fair share,” Kodiak Mayor Pat Branson said.

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Information from: Kodiak (Alaska) Daily Mirror, http://www.kodiakdailymirror.com