Amazon sales tax deal moves to Haley's desk
Wed, 01 Jun 2011 10:41:37 GMT —
COLUMBIA (WACH, AP) -- A compromise meant to bring Amazon and 2,000 promised jobs to South Carolina received final legislative approval Wednesday morning.
In a 90-14 vote the South Carolina House sent the highly debated bill on to Gov. Nikki Haley.
Haley, who opposes the bill, has said she will neither veto nor sign the bill which means it will become law after sitting on her desk for five days.
"Any time we can bring 2,000 jobs and a $120 million investment, especially into the Midlands, it is a great day for everybody in South Carolina except for the Governor who exercised exactly no leadership in this," Rep. Todd Rutherford said. "We could have had this deal done a long time ago."
The deal, brokered under former Gov. Mark Sanford, would give Amazon the five-year exemption it sought from collecting sales taxes from South Carolina's online shoppers. In return, the online retailer must create the full-time jobs with health benefits and invest at least $125 million.
"I think it is a great day for South Carolina and a great day for the Midlands as a whole, a great day for Amazon and a I appreciate the work the Senate has done. I appreciate the work the House of Representatives has done on this issue and I look forward to them coming to South Carolina and creating about 2,000 jobs," says House Majority Leader Kenny Bingham.
Amazon bailed on South Carolina after the House originally rejected the deal 71-47. The bill was re-introduced after lawmakers said they thought the online giant was bluffing about leaving.
Amazon also pulled out of plans for a Texas expansion over the same sales tax debate. They're considering the same in Tennessee. However, the company announced last week it is building a new distribution center in Indiana this summer. Indiana does not require Amazon to collect state sales tax on in-state purchases.
The Senate compromise approved last week also requires Amazon to notify customers on each confirmation e-mail and in yearly purchase tallies that they're responsible for paying sales tax to the state.
What do you think about the sales tax exemption for Amazon? Is it worth the jobs and the boost for the economy? Or is it unfair for other retailers in the state? Leave a comment below.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)