North Carolina's E-Tail Amnesty Program Rejected By 94 Percent

In the latest saga of North Carolina's attempts to get sales tax revenue from E-tailers--its battles with Amazon are nothing if not creative--the state offered tax amnesty to 450 retailers, if they cooperated. Only 27 accepted the offer, which is barely 6 percent of those approached. Those 27 "represent a variety of large national and smaller specialized retailers," said Beth Stevenson, the public information officer for North Carolina's Department of Revenue.

The deal was simple. If the retailer agreed to collect North Carolina's taxes for four years, the state would agree to not "assess tax, penalties or interest" and "to not exercise its authority to obtain consumer information from the retailer to collect a tax liability." I'm stunned that more retailers didn't leap at the offer. I'm really curious as to which national chains agreed to this proposition, as it would almost certainly force them to also pay taxes to every other state. Then again, if the chain's participation stays secret, the other states wouldn't know and it couldn't be used against the retailer.