Amazon isn't the only company in California that doesn't want to collect sales tax: the owners of the Richmond District's venerable Green Apple Books also protests the current scheme by which their customers must pay a combined 8.5% in state and local fees.
And Green Apple launched a petition drive, hosted by the website change.org, to convince Sacramento to honor their request.
"We should be exempt too, because we think it would increase sales," said Kevin Ryan a co-owner of the store.
Ryan said Green Apple was inspired by the actions of Amazon.com, which has spent $3 million toward putting an initiative on June 2012 ballot that would overturn a new law requiring on-line retailers to collect sales tax. California's Department of Finance estimates the tax would bring $200 million a year to state coffers.
Ryan said that, like Amazon, Green Apple is willing to spend big bucks on its signature gathering campaign.
"I'm prepared to put $70 toward this effort," he said. "I'll put it toward a Tea Party costume that I can wear when I'm collecting signatures."
A tri-corner hat would show his commitment to independence and freedom from tyranny, Ryan said.
He said he is prepared to wear the hat at least once, on Saturday in front of the store, though he concedes that may not be enough to collect the 504,760 signatures necessary to put a competing measure on California's June 2012 ballot.
Green Apple's petition cites these additional reasons that the store's customers should not have to pay sales tax.
* 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.