Update 4 p.m. KQED's Stephanie Martin this afternoon talked to Betty Yee, a State Board of Equalization member who represents 21 counties in central and northern California. The board is responsible for collecting sales tax.
Earlier today an Amazon VP said the company does not intend on collecting the sales tax that newly passed California legislation requires it to starting tomorrow. But Yee said the state expects Amazon and other online retailers to comply with the law. If they don't, she said, the state will send them a bill for the tax at the end of the quarter.
Yee also said that the severing of ties with its California affiliates does not exempt Amazon from sales tax collection, as the law also establishes the tax obligation for businesses that own subsidiaries that may not be involved in the act of selling. Amazon has such businesses in California, including Lab126, which designed the Kindle, in Cupertino, and search technology firm A9 in Palo Alto. (This analysis by CNET's Declan McCullagh, however, says a 1994 decision by a California Appeals court rejected similar arguments by the Board of Equalization in a case involving an out-of-state greeting-card company.)
Listen to the interview below: