Starting Thursday, Internet giant Amazon.com will start charging sales tax on purchases in Florida.
The tax is linked to the opening, later this year, of two distribution centers Amazon is building in Hillborough and Polk counties.
The Florida Department of Revenue requires online companies to begin collecting sales taxes once a company has a physical presence in the state. That has allowed many out-of-state online retailers, including Amazon, to avoid adding the taxes to online purchases. Floridians are supposed to pay the taxes themselves when they buy from online retailers, but few do.
The Florida Retail Federation estimates that the state will collect $80 million a year from Amazon sales.
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A poll on the Miami Herald’s website asking readers if the new tax will alter their shopping habits, 211, or 67 percent of 313 readers said ‘yes;’ 102, or 33 percent, said ‘no.’