Amazon deal delayed in Tennessee Senate subcommittee

Amazon deal delayed in Tennessee Senate subcommittee

February 7th, 2012 by Andy Sher in Local - Breaking News

An exterior view of the Tennessee State Capitol building.

Photo by The Tennessean /Times Free Press.

POLL: Are you glad Amazon will be collecting sales taxes in Tennessee?

NASHVILLE - A bill requiring Amazon.com to begin collecting Tennessee state and local sales taxes on goods sold in Tennessee starting in 2014 was delayed for a week in the Senate Tax Subcommittee this morning.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge, said the measure was delayed in part because of "concerns" raised by Wal-Mart, which wanted more time to study the Haslam administration's bill.

"I did talk with them," McNally said of Wal-Mart representatives. "They had some concerns. My impression was they weren't against the concept. I think you know how lawyers are. They wanted to check out everybody's work."

McNally said the bill was also delayed because it should have been scheduled for next week to begin with and also has a new legislative estimate on it's financial impact on state and local tax revenues.

According to the new fiscal note, the move is still expected to generate an additional $22.8 million for state coffers annually and $9.6 million for local governments beginning in the 2014-15 budget year.

The bill grew out of a controversy over the previous Bredesen administration's verbal commitment to Amazon that it would be exempt from collecting sales taxes in Tennessee, despite establishing a physical presence by constructing two giant distribution centers in Hamilton and Bradley counties.

The bill relieves Amazon from collecting state sales taxes until 2014 unless Congress acts sooner to approve congressional legislation addressing the issue of sales taxes and e-commerce.

The bill, which passed the House Budget Subcommittee last week, is expected to come before the full House Finance Committee later today.