NASHVILLE - A bill requiring Amazon.com to begin collecting Tennessee sales taxes on items sold to Tennesseeans starting in 2014 has been delayed for a week.
The Senate Tax Subcommittee made the move Tuesday to give major retailers more time to study the bill's provisions.
But the measure, proposed by Gov. Bill Haslam, later zipped through the full House Finance Committee with no debate.
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 bill.
"I did talk with them," McNally said. "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 also was delayed because it should have been scheduled for next week in the first place and also has a new estimate on its financial impact on state and local tax revenues.
According to the new fiscal note, the tax collection is expected to generate an additional $22.8 million for state coffers annually and $9.6 million for local governments.
The bill grew out of a controversy over the Phil Bredesen administration's commitment to Amazon that it would be exempt from collecting sales taxes in Tennessee, despite the Internet giant establishing a physical presence by constructing two 1 million-square-foot distribution centers in Hamilton and Bradley counties.
National retailers and some smaller retailers objected to the deal, saying it was unfair to require them to collect the 7 percent state sales tax and up to 2.75 percent local sales tax and not make Amazon do the same.
The renegotiated agreement requires Amazon to start collecting state sales taxes starting Jan. 1, 2014, unless Congress acts sooner to approve national legislation on sales taxes and e-commerce.
"These are provisions that we made to bring jobs to Tennessee," House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, told Finance Committee members.
In other legislative action Tuesday:
* A bill that would have made it a felony for anyone driving a car with an illegal immigrant inside was taken off notice by the House Judiciary Committee.
Stephen Fotopulos, executive director of the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition, called the move a "good sign that the Legislature sees the value in maintaining Tennessee's reputation as a welcoming and inclusive place to live."
Church groups had opposed the legislation and the sponsor, Rep. Tony Shipley, R-Kingsport, agreed not to move ahead with it.
* A Haslam bill requiring longer jail sentences for repeat domestic violence offenders was delayed as lawmakers and local government representatives voiced concerns over its $8.6 million price tag for cities and counties.
Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons told the House Judiciary Committee there are "ongoing discussions" with county officials that could resolve what local governments are calling an "unfunded mandate."
The executive director of the Tennessee County Commissioners Association, David Connor, told lawmakers that, while his organization supports tougher sentences, members can't support the measure at present because of its financial impact on counties.
"We understand their concern," Gibbons said. "We're taking a look at some things maybe we can do."
He would not indicate whether that might include helping out with costs.