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Cuomo's internet sales tax plan may not survive the state budget process

Senate Republicans oppose the proposal to require online retailers like Amazon to collect sales taxes.

A plan to require online retailers like Amazon

A plan to require online retailers like Amazon to collect sales taxes on transactions involving New York state residents may be dead. Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images / Emmanuel Dunand

A proposal by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to expand sales tax collections on online purchases is not expected to be part of a state budget agreement, according to Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore) and other legislative officials.

“The deal is that it’s supposed to be out of the budget,” Boyle said Wednesday. “But again that could change,” he said, noting the negotiations on the budget, which is due by April 1.

The proposal would require online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay to collect sales tax on transactions between New York residents and all third-party vendors, including those based out of state.

Senate Republicans scuttled the plan early in budget negotiations, Assembly sources said.

“Since the Executive Budget was first unveiled, Senate Republicans have strongly opposed the $1 billion in new taxes and fees advanced by the governor,” Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif said. “We recognize the need to take steps to make New York a more affordable state to live and work, and expect the enacted budget will reflect it."

Cuomo and Democratic legislators have argued that the proposal would bring in needed tax revenue and create a level playing field for brick-and-mortar shops that must collect state and local sales tax.

Those opposed to the plan included the Business Council of New York State, an Albany-based trade group that has argued that Congress should take the lead on online sales taxes, as the issue concerns all states.

“The last thing businesses need is a confusing hodgepodge of differing state rules,” council president and CEO Heather C. Briccetti said Wednesday.

With Michael Gormley

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