Amazon.com is suing the State of Texas in a law suit that could impact many Silicon Valley companies. The problem began four months ago, when Texas sued Amazon for $269 million, claiming that is what it was owed sales tax revenues. Amazon claims that internet sales should not be subject to state taxes, but Texas claims it is subject to state laws because it has a distribution center in the Dallas suburb of Irving. According to a 1992 Supreme Court ruling, that would make the company subject to Texas taxes for sales in that state.
Now Amazon is suing Texas to release the audit information on which it determined the $269 million sum. It claims the information should be provided to them under the Texas Public Information Act. The State Comptroller claims that it is protected from release.
Amazon is currently at the forefront of the effort to protect online sales from state sales taxes, a fight that could have major implications for other companies selling goods and services online. Last year, online sales in the U.S. were estimated to be valued at $155 billion, and that figure could reach as high as $250 billion by 2014. Sales taxes on that could be a major source of revenue for states struggling to balance their budgets,