If Amazon taxes in Mass., will buyers bolt?

Despite local retailers’ hopes, many say they’d still shop online

Area merchants cheered the news last week that state officials are considering requiring to start collecting sales tax on purchases made from Massachusetts, saying it would make their businesses more competitive with the nation’s biggest online retailer. But would a 6.25 percent price hike be enough to discourage some consumers from shopping on Amazon?

A recent survey of Amazon shoppers by Citigroup researchers found that 51 percent would be at least “slightly less likely” to use the site if it charged sales tax. The survey also said 67 percent of Amazon shoppers cited avoiding local sales taxes as an important factor in their decision to use the site.

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