Tennessee should cut a better Amazon deal

Amazon.com knows it should be collecting sales taxes on purchases in Tennessee and othere states where it has an office, store or any physical presence. A deal the online retailer has offered Texas proves it.

Amazon has promised to create 5,000 jobs and invest $300 million in new distribution centers in Texas if the state lets the company “off the hook for collecting sales taxes from its Texas customers over the next 4 ½ years,” according to The Dallas Morning News.

Presumably, the company would start collecting sales tax after 4 ½ years.

In the meantime, the online retailer wants Texas to create a website where Texas shoppers can voluntarily send the sales tax they owe on Amazon purchases.

For months Amazon has threatened to cancel plans for new distribution centers in Texas, Tennessee and any other state that tried to make the company comply with state tax law. However, the details of Amazon’s Texas offer show that the company recognizes it is legally responsible for collecting sales taxes, just like other retailers. And the company knows collecting sales taxes will have no significant effect on its sales in Texas or elsewhere.

Maybe Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam can still make Amazon do the right thing and collect sales taxes on purchases in Tennessee.

Here’s the Morning News report: Amazon.com offers Texas 5,000 jobs in exchange for sales tax exemption