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GOP wants to repeal Colo. online tax law

Associated Press Modified: January 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm •  Published: January 27, 2011
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DENVER (AP) — Republican state lawmakers say a federal judge's decision to block a Colorado law affecting larger out-of-state, online retailers shows it's unconstitutional and should be repealed.

Judge Robert Blackburn ruled Wednesday that the law places an undue burden on out-of-state retailers and violates interstate commerce laws.

The law requires retailers who don't collect state sales tax to send their customers an annual notice of how much tax the customers should pay Colorado. It also requires retailers to provide the state with a list of customers.

GOP House Majority Leader Amy Stephens said Thursday the law should be repealed. Democratic Sen. Rollie Heath said it only enforced a law already on the state's books.

"That's a huge ruling by the judge. He understands it violates the commerce clause and puts an undue burden on businesses outside Colorado. I think it would be prudent for us to reverse this law," Stephens said.

Heath said all companies, including those doing business online, are required to pay state taxes and the law made it clear the rules will be enforced.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader John Morse said the law protects businesses in Colorado who already pay state taxes, but Stephens said the new law cost Colorado thousands of jobs.

Gov. John Hickenlooper agreed with Morse and said everyone in Colorado should be taxed evenly.

"Some way we have to get a fair way of taxing everyone evenly. Maybe a value added tax. Right now, people who are tech-savvy are getting a discount," he said.

Amazon.com Inc. cut ties last year with Colorado online businesses that help it sell products because of a new state law aimed at getting out-of-state, online retailers to collect sales tax.

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