Tennessee: Senate approves Amazon sales-tax agreement

Tennessee: Senate approves Amazon sales-tax agreement

March 8th, 2012 by Andy Sher in Local - Breaking News

The main floor of the Chattanooga Amazon fulfillment center.

Photo by Doug Strickland/Times Free Press.

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to require Amazon to collect sales tax in Tennessee?

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.