In what is seen as a shot at Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, President Donald Trump renewed calls for an internet tax.
According to news from CNBC, President Trump also reiterated his concerns about the impact Amazon is having on the United States Postal Service (USPS): “The internet — they’re going to have to start paying sales tax because it’s very unfair what’s happening to our retailers all over the country that are put out of business,” Trump said. CNBC noted that his comments about the USPS are similar to ones he made late last month, which are seen to be targeted at Bezos, who is the publisher of The Washington Post, which has published stories that have been critical of Trump’s time in office.
While Amazon collects sales tax on products it sells directly, it has come under fire from states that say its policies enable third-party vendors to charge different levels of sales tax. As Amazon becomes bigger, the issue has received more attention. South Carolina filed a complaint this past summer against Amazon, with the eCommerce company agreeing in November to take on more of the third-party tax burden in Washington, where the company is headquartered.
The comments on the part of President Trump come as Bloomberg reported this week that Bezos’ net worth had reached $105.1 billion (Forbes reported a slightly lower net worth of $104.4 billion). According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Bezos is now worth more than Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, ever was, even at his richest back in 1999. That makes Bezos the richest man in history. Most of that value comes from his 78.9 million shares of Amazon stock, CNN Tech reported — so when Amazon shares climbed 1.4 percent on Monday, Jan. 8, it added $1.4 billion to Bezos’ net worth.