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Group Calls On State To Order Amazon To Collect Sales Tax On Purchases

BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts coalition of small businesses, elected officials and labor unions has called on the state to force online giant Inc. to collect sales tax on purchases.

The Massachusetts Main Street Fairness Coalition penned a letter Thursday to Amy Pitter, the state's Department of Revenue Commissioner, demanding action in correcting what they say is a "disparity in state sales tax collection."

In the letter, the group urges the commissioner to force the company to collect the state's 6.25 percent sales tax by July 1, saying local businesses are struggling to compete with tax-free online merchants.

Currently, Amazon, which is in the process of opening an office in Cambridge, does not collect the Massachusetts sales tax for purchases made by state residents.

Because Amazon has an office in Massachusetts, the coalition said, the online giant should be subject to the same tax requirements that other physical businesses are throughout the state.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Massachusetts is estimated to lose $268 million in tax revenue in 2012 from not being able to collect sales tax for online and catalog purchases.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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