California lawmakers are voting on hundreds of bills this week ahead of a Friday deadline to keep them moving through the legislature. One measure that drew a heated debate Tuesday in the Assembly would expand the collection of sales tax to online retailers with a physical presence in the state.
Republican Assemblyman Tim Donnelly called the idea of taxing out-of-state online retailers “unbelievable,” saying, “the reason they’re not locating here is we are overtaxed in the state of California. This is complete insanity!”
Several other Republicans voiced objections too, prompting this response from the bill’s author, Democrat Charles Calderon: “I heard this bill referred to as idiotic. So let’s examine where the idiots are.”
Calderon said most of California’s brick-and-mortar retailers support the measure. “If you oppose this bill,” he said, “you support tax evasion and you’re anti-business. Anti-business!”
In the end, the bill passed 47-to-16. It now goes to the Senate.