Shoppers and store owners react to Amazon sales tax - CBS46 News

Shoppers and store owners react to Amazon sales tax

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Amazon now collecting sales tax in Georgia Amazon now collecting sales tax in Georgia
MARIETTA, GA (CBS ATLANTA) -

Many shoppers in metro Atlanta said while they don't like to pay taxes, they understand why Georgia is now forcing Amazon to charge sales tax on internet purchases. 

"When you buy something, you should pay taxes, no matter where you buy it," said Jerry Pecue, of Marietta.

A new law that orders certain online retailers to collect sales tax went into effect Jan. 1. Amazon began collecting the tax Sept. 1.

Georgia is now the 12th state that requires the online giant to collect sales tax.

"Every penny does count because I even cut out coupons," said shopper Brenda Chalker, of Marietta. "I try to save everything I can, shopping the sales, but it would bring a lot of revenue to Georgia."

Others in metro Atlanta said forcing Amazon to collect sales tax will help companies with stores located in the state.

"I think it does level the playing field," said shopper John Moeller. "I think that is a benefit to local folks and we want our local merchants to do well." 

Store owners agree.

"Hopefully, people will see that it's not that much cheaper to buy online and will come back to shopping locally, especially in small stores," said Susan Brooks, a clerk at Vintage-Vintage-ology, a vintage boutique on the Marietta Square.

However, Brooks and other shop owners expect Amazon will find other ways to lure shoppers to its internet site.

"I think initially it looks like it levels the playing field but in reality, I think it does not," said Susan Mauldin, owner of Limelight, a gift shop on the Marietta Square. "They're going to find a way to defray that tax in some way by offering benefits and discounts or something of that nature."

Most said it is too early to tell what effect the Amazon sales tax will have on shoppers and businesses.

"It just depends.  We'll have to wait and see," said Mauldin.

Small business owners said they attract customers by offering something internet retailers cannot.

"We enjoy meeting people and that's just not something you get online," said Brooks. "It's a very cold service." 

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