published Monday, May 9th, 2011

State Rep. Watson calls efforts to override Amazon.com agreements 'childish'

  • photo
    Amazon.com warehouse in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — State Rep. Eric Watson said today that attempts by some state legislators to override agreements with Amazon.com are “a very silly tactic. It’s childish.”

Watson spoke to the Bradley County Commission during a work session.

County commissioners agreed, and they plan to vote next Monday on a resolution calling on the state to meet commitments already made to Amazon.com.

Some state legislators want Amazon.com, which is building distribution centers in Hamilton and Bradley counties, to pay state sales taxes.

But the proposed resolution by Commissioner J. Adam Lowe says the Tennessee Department of Revenue already has ruled Amazon.com centers do not constitute a physical retail presence, essentially being distribution centers.

Lowe was joined by fellow commissioners who commented that the state still could lose the company.

“I talked to Amazon officials over the weekend. And they are asking, ‘Why would Amazon want to come to a state that won’t keep its commitments?’” Watson said.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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nucanuck said...

Amazon and on-line retailing is growing rapidly which clearly means that state sales tax revenue will fall over time. Tennessee should take this opportunity to level the playing field and end the sales tax, giving all retail equal footing. None of us wants to see our neighborhood stores closing because the sales tax made them unable to compete. We depend on our neighborhood stores for our everyday needs. They should be treated the same as Amazon and eliminating the sales tax is the only realistic way to deal with a national trend.

Yes, that would mean substituting an income tax which no one wants either, but the time may have come when that is the better choice for the economic health of the state and for the shopping convenience of us all.

May 9, 2011 at 3 p.m.
rolando said...

Still trying to stick us with an income tax -- an uncontrolled and uncontrollable income tax -- huh, nucanuck? Can't stand to see anyone under the Legislature's thumb, can you?

You want to see what happens when an income tax is imposed without direct voter control? Look no further than Washington, DC. Fourteen trillion and still counting, that what happens.

When you speak of "economic health for the state" you mean more redistribution of wealth, encouragement of sloth, increased dependency and virtual slavery. You have no concern with more "earn your own way".

May 9, 2011 at 11:07 p.m.
rolando said...

Yeah, PR, something like 10,000 people applied nationwide for 2,000 jobs at MickeyDees; says something right there about our so-called recovery.

So let Amazon leave...we don't need their jobs 'cause we got the clown.

May 9, 2011 at 11:10 p.m.
nucanuck said...

rolando,you're smart enough to see the trend in on-line retail and understand what that will do,over time, to state sales tax revenue. Quit being so negative and propose something as a fair and reasonable way to deal with on-line sales vs local retail.

Any blockhead can oppose things. Think a little and suggest ways to solve problems.

May 9, 2011 at 11:16 p.m.
rolando said...

It will not make any serious impact on state sales tax revenue, nucanuck. The state's problem is they are still trying to keep up the tax-and-spend actions that got us into this mess. Not enough money in the cash box? Cut back the spending. You don't kill the golden goose to maintain an unaffordable lifestyle; you scale back to what the goose can and will deliver.

May 9, 2011 at 11:27 p.m.
rolando said...

It will not make any serious impact on state sales tax revenue, nucanuck. The state's problem is they are still trying to keep up the tax-and-spend actions that got us into this mess. Not enough money in the cash box? Cut back the spending. You don't kill the golden goose to maintain an unaffordable lifestyle; you scale back to what the goose can and will deliver.

The only "fair and reasonable" way to deal with the issue is to follow SCOTUS rulings and not blindly find ways to go around them.

Only a real blockhead [or a Progressive] does that. So think a little and suggest ways to realistically solve the money problems of this capitalistic country/state.

May 9, 2011 at 11:31 p.m.
bpqd said...

It's clear that Amazon needs to pay taxes, just like everyone else who runs a business in this state. As soon as the state gives every struggling resident a break on their taxes, then we can consider multi-billion dollar Amazon.

We apologize for representatives who have failed to represent the interests of voters in this state. They had no business offering this deal to Amazon. It will be reflected by a Democratic landslide in the next election cycle.

Flush the Republicans and their Big Business cronyism.

May 10, 2011 at 1:48 p.m.
grandmastaj said...

Actually, this one is Republican versus Republican.

"Senate Finance Committee Chairman Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge, said Tuesday his legislation would make clear that two distribution centers Amazon is building in Hamilton and Bradley counties constitute physical presence or 'nexus.'"

May 10, 2011 at 2:35 p.m.
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