Amazon Dangles Jobs for a Tax-Free Ride
Posted on Sep 2, 2011
Amazon.com proposed to job-strapped California on Thursday that it would hire 7,000 people and build distribution centers in the state if Sacramento would agree to suspend a recently approved online sales tax policy for two years.
Unfortunately for Amazon, Democrats in control of the California Legislature said they would not accept the offer. Lawmakers have fought for much of the year to close a $10 billion budget gap, and the online sales tax is a key part of the new revenue-building plan. Besides, when did it become acceptable for corporations to negotiate with government over their responsibility as taxpayers?—BF
Details of Amazon’s offer emerged on Thursday after a meeting on Tuesday between representatives of Amazon and member companies of the California Retailers Association ... in the office [of] state Senate Republican Bob Dutton in Sacramento.
The association of brick-and-mortar retailers, which backs the online sales tax, was quick to reject Amazon’s offer. Large and small retailers in California have long complained they are disadvantaged by having to collect sales taxes while out-of-state retailers could avoid doing so.
“Our people came back and said this isn’t legitimate,” said Bill Dombrowski, the association’s president. “It’s unacceptable.”
He said California’s Democratic lawmakers would snub Amazon’s offer despite the urgency over job creation that has seized Sacramento in recent weeks.
Lawmakers have largely backed the online sales tax as it has the support of small and large businesses, local governments and public employees, whose ranks are being thinned in response to weak state and local revenue.
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