Skip to comments.Amazon.com offers Texas 5,000 jobs in exchange for sales-tax exemption
Posted on 06/21/2011 2:58:40 PM PDT by Immerito
DALLAS Amazon.com wants to make a deal with the state of Texas.
The proposed offer circulating around Austin and obtained by The Dallas Morning News would let Amazon off the hook for collecting sales taxes from its Texas customers over the next 4 ½ years, and would bring 5,000 jobs to the state.
The company also is promising to spend $300 million to open distribution centers where those employees would work.
Finally, it wants the Texas comptroller's office to set up a website where its customers can send sales tax owed on Amazon purchases to the state. Historically, voluntary sales-tax payments haven't been reliable.
South Carolina recently accepted a similar offer from Amazon.
Amazon didn't respond to a request for comment.
(Excerpt) Read more at seattletimes.nwsource.com ...
It isn’t right that one business is exempt from the same rules that other businesses are expected to follow.
some animals are more equal than others.
Its a good deal
It isnt right that one business is exempt from the same rules that other businesses are expected to follow.
That's hardly the way to look at that. $300 million buys a lot of engineering and construction for the distribution centers. 5000 people buy homes, cars, groceries, ipods. From the sales tax alone from the building materials and personal items, Texas will come out the far winner.
An agreement between Amazon and the State of Texas could hardly be considered as affecting what other businesses are paying in taxes. Looks to me as a win-win deal.
At least they are doing more than Islamobama to create jobs.
BeZos, bring it on, to Houston!
BeZos, bring it on, to Houston!
OTOH, a distribution center has historically not been considered a retail store and as a result a distribution center historically would not cause a catalog business that has no retail sales offices in the state to be forced to collect sales taxes from customers in that state.
When Texas state officials decided to take an unprecedented and very unconservative position to classify previously untaxable sales as taxable, Amazon decided to close its Texas distribution center and eliminated hundreds of jobs as a result. If a Texan were to drive to a state with no sales tax and purchase goods, it would not be right for the state of Texas to expect to receive a sales tax for the transaction.
But to me, getting an exemption from a law that every other business has to obey is no different that companies like Walmart getting property tax exemptions in other states. It creates an unfair business advantage for these companies at the expense of other companies. If we do not like it when liberals pick winners and losers in the business world we should not like it when conservatives do it as well.
I'd rather see taxes lowered all around. That is something that would indeed help the most people.
“Business presence” for the purposes of requiring a business to collect sales taxes has generally meant a retail sales facility. A distribution center, simply a hub for the shipping/distribution of order fulfillment and not open to the public to come in and shop, was never part of the definition of a business presence that would require collection of sales tax until some power and revenue hungry government official decided to change the rules.
I would prefer that rather than getting a temporary exemption Amazon would get either a statutory declaration from the legislature or an administrative declaration from the State Attorney General’s office that the distribution center does not constitute a “business presence” that requires collection of sales taxes from Texas residents for online purchases from such businesses that do not have retail sales facilities located in the state. This would ensure that Amazon and any other online catalog site that does not have retail stores in the state would be able to continue to operate under the business model that has worked so well to this point.
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