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August 27, 2015

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Nevada reaches agreement with Amazon on collection of sales tax

Brian Sandoval

Brian Sandoval

Gov. Brian Sandoval reached an agreement with online retail giant Amazon to collect sales tax on items it sells in Nevada, raising at least $16 million a year and tacking on 8.1 percent when Las Vegans hit the “checkout” button online.

The agreement, announced Monday, calls for the retailer to start collecting the sales tax in 2014 or whenever the federal government passes legislation requiring online retailers to collect the taxes.

Under a similar agreement with California, the company will start collecting sales tax there in September 2012.

Traditional brick-and-mortar retail stores have complained that online sellers have an unfair advantage because many don’t charge sales tax and aren’t paying their share for schools, roads and other government services.

Individual buyers are supposed to send in the sales tax to the state Department of Taxation.

Sandoval’s office said this deal would help in “relieving Nevadans from having to self-report use taxes from these sales to the state.”

The sales tax rate in Nevada varies by county, from 6.85 percent in some of the rural counties to 8.1 percent in Clark County.

Sandoval and Amazon, which has major warehouse and distribution centers in Northern and Southern Nevada, said in the statement that they would work jointly for federal legislation.

The Retail Association of Nevada has advocated for legislation requiring all online retailers to collect sales and use taxes. It estimated that the change to state law would bring in $26 million every two years.

“We’re very excited about this” agreement, said Bryan Wachter, director of public and government affairs for the Retail Association of Nevada. He praised the governor for working with Amazon. “It’s important to treat everybody by the same rules,” he said.

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