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Advocacy group wants copy of secret Utah-Amazon tax deal

(KUTV) Libertas Institute, a Utah group that advocates for personal liberty, was denied a request for a copy of the tax deal struck by internet retailer Amazon and the state of Utah.

“Their government is making these agreements behind the scenes lets figure out what’s in it,” said Connor Boyack, Founder of Libertas Institute.

This year, Amazon started imposing a state sales tax on purchases made by people in Utah.

The State of Utah made an agreement with Amazon where the company gets a 1.3 percent cut of the tax collected.

According to Boyack, nobody knows how much tax revenue the agreement is generating for the state.

“Everyone’s flying blind,” he said.

Libertas filed a request for the agreement through the Government Records Access and Management Act -- or GRAMA -- but was denied by the state tax commission.

Charlie Roberts said the request was denied because the agreement is “protected information.”

He said there are similar agreements with other companies including Airbnb, and those are protected too.

Boyack said he has no evidence there is anything shady about the deal but he said Libertas has a problem with the state “deputizing” an out-of-state company to be a tax collector.

Besides, he said Utahns don’t like paying the tax.

“What is the government offering in return to Amazon to get them to do this when they are not required to, “ he said.

Libertas is prepared to appeal the denial of their request and even go to court to obtain the agreement.

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