Amazon - jobs or taxes?

Amazon - jobs or taxes?

May 20th, 2011 in Opinion Free Press

Internet retailer Amazon.com happily proposes to hire 1,200 full-time workers and 2,000 part-time or seasonal employees in Chattanooga and nearby Bradley County. Amazon also has indicated interest in having order fulfillment centers in Nashville and Knoxville.

That raises the job potential for Tennesseans to 3,000 full-time and 4,000 seasonal positions, involving an investment of $300 million.

So it is good news that Tennessee legislators have smoothed the way by abandoning - at least for now - problematic plans to impose sales taxes on orders to Amazon.

The company's argument is that the facilities being built here are distribution centers and don't constitute a traditional retail presence that would trigger sales tax collections.

The issue is important, because insistence upon sales tax collections had threatened to cause Amazon to take its centers somewhere else.

Do we want thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars invested in Amazon's Tennessee operations, in accord with the company's plan to fulfill orders without collecting a sales tax in Tennessee - or don't we?

It appears that we do, and the result of that will be more jobs for Tennesseans.