NASHVILLE — Legislation requiring Amazon to begin collecting Tennessee sales tax beginning in 2014 passed the Senate this morning.
The bill, the result of an agreement between the Internet retailing giant and Gov. Bill Haslam, was approved on a 30-1 vote.
“I’d really like to thank the governor’s office for working this out,” said the bill’s sponsor, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge, who had criticized the original verbal deal struck by former Gov. Phil Bredesen and Amazon.
That deal would have let Amazon avoid ever collecting sales taxes in exchange for locating two $139 million distribution centers in Chattanooga and near Cleveland, employing about 4,000 full-time and seasonal workers.
Under the agreement, Amazon is building two additional distribution centers, one in Rutherford County and one in Wilson County.
The House previously passed the measure, which would require Amazon to begin collecting sales taxes earlier if Congress approves legislation requiring all Internet retailers to begin collecting state sales taxes. Under U.S. Supreme Court rulings, states cannot compel a retailer to collect sales taxes unless it has a physical presence in the state.
Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...