About half of voters in California voters disapprove of controversial new legislation that would require Internet retailers to collect sales tax on online purchases, a poll by the University of Southern California and the Los Angeles Times finds.
The poll found 46 percent of voters favor the online sales tax as a revenue source to help balance the budget and pay for state services, while 49 percent oppose it. Online retailers such as Amazon have been fighting the tax.
"At this point, Californians are evenly divided on whether online purchases should be taxed. This could be one of the most expensive campaigns in California history, and neither side starts with a clear advantage," Dan Schnur, director of the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll, said in a statement.
Overall, 55 percent of young voters opposed taxing online purchases by California residents and 41 percent support it. In contrast, 43 percent of voters over 50 oppose taxing online purchases, and 52 percent support it. The poll has a margin of error of 2.5 percent.
Illinois has passed a similar measure.