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July 18, 2011

Contact: Shannan Velayas
(916) 653-6575

Sales Tax Collection Referendum Enters Circulation

Referendum to Overturn Law Requiring Internet
Retailers to Collect Same Sales or Use Taxes as Other Retailers.

SACRAMENTO - Secretary of State Debra Bowen announced today that the proponent of a proposed referendum measure may begin collecting signatures.

The Attorney General prepares the legal title and summary that is required to appear on referendum petitions. When the official language is complete, the Attorney General forwards it to the proponent and to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State then provides calendar deadlines to the proponent and to county elections officials, and the referendum may be circulated for signatures.

The Attorney General's official title and summary for the measure is as follows:

REFERENDUM TO OVERTURN LAW REQUIRING INTERNET RETAILERS TO COLLECT SAME SALES OR USE TAXES AS OTHER RETAILERS. If signed by the required number of registered voters and filed with the Secretary of State, this petition will place on the statewide ballot a challenge to an existing state law. The law must be approved by voters at the next statewide election to remain in effect. The law expands the definition of retailers considered “engaged in business” in California to include certain Internet retailers selling to California consumers, so that out-of-state Internet retailers also collect existing sales or use taxes. (11-0019)

The proponent for this measure, Charles T. Halnan, must collect signatures of 504,760 registered voters – the number equal to five percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2010 gubernatorial election – in order to qualify it for the next statewide ballot. The proponent has 90 days from the date the bill is chaptered to request and receive a title and summary from the Attorney General, and circulate petitions for a referendum. ABx1 28 (Chapter 7, Statutes of 2011, First Extraordinary Session) was chaptered on June 29, 2011. The proponent has until September 27, 2011, to submit petition signatures to county election officials.

The Secretary of State's tracking number for this measure is 1489 and the Attorney General's tracking number is 11-0019.

The referendum proponent can be reached at (415) 389-6800.

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