Internet retailer Amazon.com Inc. isn’t always opposed to expanding in states where it is required to collect sales taxes.
The company announced this week that it would build a new fulfillment center in Sumner, Wash. Amazon, which is based in Seattle, Wash., already collects state sales taxes on purchases made by Washington residents.
The company plans to build Tennessee fulfillment centers in Hamilton and Bradley counties, but state government has waived the rule that would have required Amazon to collect local and state sales taxes on purchases by Tennessee residents.
Many Tennessee businesses have cried foul, saying the tax waiver gives Amazon an unfair competitive advantage.
Amazon is unmoved by the complaints. Earlier this week, an Amazon official said the company might not open the Tennessee centers if the Legislature nixed the tax collection waiver.
Amazon has made the same heavy-handed threat to other states — Texas, Illinois, South Carolina — that had the nerve to tell the company it would have to collect sales taxes.
It’s more than a bit hypocritical of Amazon to threaten states over the sales tax issue when it’s expanding in Washington State.
Gov. Bill Haslam should stand up to the corporate bullies and do the right thing for Tennessee businesses — make Amazon collect the taxes owed.
More on the controversy:
Thanks to colleague Carly Harrington for the passing along info on Amazon’s Washington expansion plans.