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Floridians to pay tax on Amazon purchases, eBay to follow?

Amazon shoppers will soon see a change in their bills with the online retail giant beginning to charge sales tax to Florida shoppers, but that doesn’t mean you’ll see a change anytime soon for other companies.

The Amazon shift, effective May 1st, comes as the company builds a pair of “fulfillment centers” in Central Florida. Until now, Amazon has not had a physical footprint, which exempted them from charging tax.

“The fact that they’ve got a nexus here in the state of Florida means they will have to pay those sales taxes,” says State Senator John Thrasher.

For years, the Florida Retail Federation has pushed the legislature to require all online retailers to charge tax in order to help brick and mortar businesses better compete. The movement has never really taken hold, however, and Thrasher doesn’t think this will change anything- at least from the official perspective.

“I think once Amazon does it, maybe the others will follow,” he says.

The FRF estimates Amazon alone will bring in about $80 million per year to the state in tax revenue. Despite that, unless companies like eBay and Overstock decide to put down roots in Florida as well, there doesn’t appear to be a real desire in Tallahassee to make them pay as well.

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