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Revived Amazon.com tax bill defeated for 2nd time

The proposal to require Amazon.com to collect taxes on goods it sells to Arizona residents failed anew during a second vote in the Senate today.

Several senators who balked at the proposal last week changed their mind, but it still wasn’t enough to give the bill 16 votes, the threshold that must be reached to pass it.

The final tally was 14-16.

Supporters on Monday managed to revive the bill, which died last week when 20 senators crossed party lines to sink it.

It would now take the unanimous consent of senators to revive the bill again — a nearly impossible task.

There are maneuvers left to bring the legislation back to life — such as offer it as a floor amendment to a House bill that is advancing in the Senate.

But supporters would ultimately face the same uphill climb: They need two more senators to change their mind and vote “yes.”

The challenge for supporters was evident from the start.

Sen. Michele Reagan, a Republican from Scottsdale, made the motion to revive the bill Monday.

She said she did it as a favor to the Arizona Retailers Association, which is among several groups advocating for the measure, SB1338.

Reagan said she was OK reviving the bill to give supporters a second chance but she was still a “no” vote.

SB1338 would require any retail company with a physical presence in Arizona — including warehouses, distribution centers and fulfillment centers — to collect sales tax on purchases made by Arizona residents.

Critics said the bill targets only one company, Amazon.com, and argued that that runs afoul of a prohibition against special legislation.

But supporters said it’s a fairness issue. They argued it’s unfair that Arizona businesses have to collect the tax, but Amazon.com doesn’t have to.

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