Thursday, August 18, 2011

Justice now! Exempt Green Apple Books from Sales Tax

Sign HERE today! Spread the word!

photo by Robin Allen

Here's the press release Green Apple Books issued today. Media inquiries welcome.

Contact: Pete Mulvihill – | (415) 387-2272

Green Apple Books to petition state government to become exempt from sales tax

San Francisco, CA (August 16, 2011)—In a move spurred by’s campaign to collect 500,000-plus signatures in an effort to overturn California’s Sales Tax Fairness law via referendum, Green Apple Books owners Pete Mulvihill, Kevin Ryan, and Kevin Hunsanger have decided that they, too, will take a step toward not collecting sales tax. “We, too, are fed up with government providing infrastructure, security, and education” says Pete Mulvihill. “Enough is enough.”

Co-owner Kevin Ryan further argues that while Green Apple Books is a long-established presence in San Francisco that has always collected sales tax, there are more compelling reasons for the store to discontinue the practice. “Sure, the sales tax on books purchased at our store contributes to a better quality of life for all Californians, including social services for the elderly and disabled, but collecting sales tax kind of feels like overkill. We do enough for the community anyway,” says Ryan.

“I like Amazon’s angle here, and I think ALL indie stores should be exempt,” adds co-owner Kevin Hunsanger.

Additionally, Green Apple’s ownership provides this list of talking points:

  • More than two-thirds of Green Apple’s staff do not have children and therefore should not really contribute tax money to public education;
  • Most of the staff members do not own cars, so maintaining good roads isn’t that important. They could just walk;
  • Statistics suggest that booksellers are 36% less likely to use emergency services than antiques dealers;
  • Although many of the staff at Green Apple do in fact enjoy state and local parks, they sort of think someone other than the bookstore’s customers should pay to maintain them;

On Saturday, August 20, 2011, co-owner Kevin Ryan will hit the streets in an effort to collect enough signatures to put this issue into the hands of voters.


Anonymous said...

Is this a joke or for real?

Pete said...

If Amazon can do it, why not us? Wink.

Robin said...

Love it.

Jacki said...

*sigh* I wish I worked in your store! I'd be out on the street, collecting signatures! lol

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that you actually understand the Amazon situation. Amazon is NOT trying to avoid collecting taxes on items ordered from Amazon directly. Rather, Amazon is pointing out that the individual bookstores who use Amazon's checkout should have to collect taxes on their own, just like Green Apple Books does.

Essentially, what Amazon is saying is that tax collection should be performed by the entity actually selling the product, not the person who provides the storefront. Making Amazon calculate, collect, and remit the sales tax for other companies who use Amazon's storefront is like if Green Apple Books expected their landlord to collect sales taxes for them.

Anonymous said...

Get ready for more "anonymous" posts by the Amazon team who bots blogs to defend Amazon policies.
Sincerely, Anonymous

Anonymous said...

Amazon mostly sucks. But they're cheap & if you're rural or reside in a big city with sucky independents, they're an option. I use Amazon but it feels like a dog eating its own vomit. I know, it's gross.

Still, I'm on your side, Green Apple.

Yours truly,
Anonymous (not Amazon)

Anonymous said...

"Amazon is NOT trying to avoid collecting taxes on items ordered from Amazon directly"--wait, what? Of course they are.

Anonymous said...

Dear Green Apple books,
Don't forget that some of your workers are probably not California residents, therefore they should not have to collect sales tax for California. And I am sure that many of your customers are not legal residents either, so they clearly should not have to pay California sales tax.
In fact, most of your books are printed in other states, many in other countries, which means that they should be exempt from ALL taxes. I mean, I think if the product comes from another country, you should not have to pay US income tax when you sell it.
And seriously - roads, schools, libraries (The freaking competition!!!), parks, firemen - who needs those things?
I'm with you, down with sales tax. I'd rather live in the post-apocalyptic world of The Hunger Games where we have to forfeit our children to some sadistic despot while we starve to death than pay sales tax.
On a reality check note - yes, if you are the storefront, you collect the sales tax. That's why Green Apple collects the sales tax instead of the publishers. If Amazon wants to be the storefront for other dealers in order to solidify their dominance, part of that is collecting appropriate sales tax. It's not hard. I have a programmer friend who could write them some code to do it nation wide - it would take him about 45 seconds.
Amazon simply does not want to lose their financial advantage. Too bad they will also lose their customer base when all the schools close and no one reads anymore.
I vote for e-commerce fairness. Everywhere.

AmyLynn6981 said...

"Too bad they will also lose their customer base when all the schools close and no one reads anymore."


Spiros said...

And as far as I know, nobody that works here is related to anybody in prison, so why should we pay tax revenues for jails?

Phillip Blackerby said...

The basic rule is: Internet retailers are exempt from sales tax except in sales to people in states where the seller has an operation. But in Arizona, Amazon has several distribution centers totaling over a million square feet. And they don't collect or remit sales tax. When people point out that they should pay sales tax, they threaten to leave the state, and lay off the people who have jobs here. They have successfully corrupted Arizona's Governor Jan Brewer with this BS, so that she allows Amazon to operate here without collecting or remitting sales taxes to Arizona for sales to Arizonans. What part of illegal doesn't she understand?

Marit said...

You are, and always will be, one of the best bookstores ever. Kudos!

Anonymous said...

I'm not a troll - I'm an older person who lives in SF and often shops at Green Apple.
Sales tax includes state and local revenue. Unlike your uber-PC, childless employees, I drive a car on local streets, use city services (other than Muni which sucks), including police and fire, and would like to see the children who live in this city get decent services and education.
I'm not clear what Ryan means when he says "We do enough for the community anyway." I don't see your employees abandoning the store to help put out fires, chase fleeing felons, repair sidewalks, or provide any other essential things that taxes pay for.
Unless the two-thirds of your staff want to be responsible for educating the children of the other third, not to mention the rest of SF's children, you really ought to think this nonsense through.

Pete said...

Anonymous non-troll older person:
We're joking!

Anonymous said...

Doesn't affect me either way. I make all my purchases at book stores in Somalia, where consumers are blessed with total freedom from the tyranny of government. Pirates, too.