Florida says no to Amazon’s sales tax deal

May 17, 2013 04:55 PM Inc. has made deals with several states in recent years in which the e-retailer promised to build distribution centers in those states in return for the state agreeing that Amazon did not have to collect sales tax before a specified data. It appears Florida has turned down a similar offer.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s office says the state has rejected an Amazon sales tax proposal that included a promise to build a distribution center in the state by 2015. The governor’s office did not say what Amazon was requesting in return, and said Scott expects Amazon eventually will come to Florida even without a deal.

“Governor Scott does not want to raise taxes in Florida, and we are confident Amazon will invest in our state because of our low-tax, pro-business jobs climate,” says a spokeswoman for the governor.

Amazon could not immediately be reached for comment.

Earlier this year Amazon agreed to begin collecting sales tax in Connecticut on Nov. 1, in advance of the 2013 holiday season. At the same time, the retailer said it would invest $50 million in building at least one new warehouse in the state, which would create hundreds of jobs.

Amazon has reached similar deals regarding state sales tax collection in return for building warehouses in other states, including New Jersey, Texas and California.

As Amazon has built warehouses in more states, and agreed to collect sales taxes there, it’s changed its stance on a national law that would require all online retailers to collect sales tax. While originally an opponent of requiring sales tax collection on web purchases, Amazon now supports a bill before Congress that would give states the right to require e-retailers to collect sales tax. The U.S. Senate this month approved the Marketplace Fairness Act, but it faces stiffer opposition in the House. President Barack Obama supports the bill.

Amazon already collects sales tax in Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, Arizona, California and its headquarters state of Washington.

Amazon is No. 1 in the 2013 Top 500 Guide. 




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