Amazon tax measure dropped
Posted: Monday, May 23, 2011 6:01 pm
NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers have backed off trying to force Amazon.com to collect sales taxes on transactions in the state, at least for this year.
A vote last week by the House Finance Subcommittee keeps on track the online company’s plans to open distribution centers and create more than 1,400 full-time jobs in southeastern Tennessee. The Senate Finance Committee later followed suit and delayed its version of the bill next year.
The company says former Gov. Phil Bredesen’s administration agreed to exempt Amazon from collecting the tax.
Supporters of the legislation included a coalition of retailers already gathering taxes in the state, including Wal-Mart.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that states can’t force out-of-state retailers to collect sales taxes from in-state customers unless they have physical presence such as a store.
The company has proposed also building more distribution centers in Nashville or Knoxville.
Amazon.com in an April 29 state filing said it would invest $180 million and hire about 1,700 full-time and 2,000 part-time or seasonal workers within two years if it goes ahead with the plan. That would more than double the company’s $139 million investment in the Hamilton and Bradley county distribution centers.
Clark said that “with the potential for nearly 3,000 full-time jobs with benefits, another 4,000 seasonal jobs, and nearly $300 million investment coming to Tennessee, this will be a partnership we intend on growing for many years.”
Clark said the company already has more than 4,700 applicants from around the state.