6/20/2011 4:09 PM
Deal or no deal?
Earlier today we posted a link to an Austin American-Statesman blog post discussing a proposal where amazon would get a 4.5 year exemption from Texas sales tax in exchange for creating at least 5,000 new Texas jobs. But it appears this proposal is exactly that -- a proposal. When LSR asked Rep. John Otto (R-Dayton) about the status of negotiations over the sales tax nexus provision on SB 1, he replied that no one was negotiating with him.
And now -- the Alliance for Main Street Fairness (whose membership includes traditional Texas brick-and-morter retailers) -- has issued a statement blasting the proposal. “Attempts by Amazon.com to get special treatment from Texas lawmakers should have every business owner and taxpayer outraged," said the organization's spokesman Eric Bearse. “Main Street businesses are calling on elected officials to stand with Texas employees and employers over a company whose entire business model is based on tax evasion.” "Texans will not stand by and let the government give preferential treatment to one out-of-state company that gives it an advantage over existing Texas businesses,” said Eric Bearse, spokesperson for the Alliance for Main Street Fairness in Texas.
“Retailers in Texas represent nearly two million jobs and collect the sales tax every single day. If Amazon wants to come to Texas, we welcome them with open arms – but they shouldn’t get a special deal that gives them a direct competitive advantage over every other retailer in the state.”
The amazon proposal was not offered as an alternative during the regular session or when SB 1 was brought to the floor of either chamber. As of this writing, a conference report for SB 1 has not been filed. We'll keep an eye on this matter and update the blog as needed.
1 comment(s) so far...
By Pamela Picard on
6/20/2011 7:29 PM
I don't know how letting a foreign company off the hook for collecting state tax constitutes "tax evasion." Nor do I see how Amazon gets "a direct competitive advantage" by not collecting it. Texas residents who order from Amazon don't pay tax on purchases, but they pay shipping & handling. Texas merchants that sell on Amazon collect state sales tax. Amazon evades only tax reporting. If Amazon is outselling Texas businesses, it's because they offer a great selection of items at a smart discount and they advertise like crazy.