With the semi-aggressive steps taken recently by New York, Illinois, and California, it’s clear that Amazon knows that its tax avoidance policy, central to the firm’s business strategy since its inception, is coming undone. Now it’s all about how much it can stall.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.