A two-year delay in requiring Amazon to collect Tennessee sales taxes could move a step closer to reality Tuesday with votes scheduled by state House and Senate committees.
Gov. Bill Haslam is pushing for the delay and supports a federal solution to the sales tax issue. Waiting two years to make Amazon collect taxes on sales to Tennessee residents is a whole lot better than never making the online retailer collect state taxes, which was the original deal brokered by his predecessor, Haslam says .
Maybe so, but waiting till 2014 still leaves a lot of money on the table – something like $22 million a year in state sales taxes and $9 million a year in local sales taxes.
The Tennessee campaign to end the unfair tax advantage online only retailers have over bricks and mortar stores is flexing its muscle.
On Thursday, the merchants group Alliance for Main Street Fairness held a coordinated media event in six cities – Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, Oak Ridge and Johnson City – to discuss strategy and show off its political support.
The event featured telephone calls from Gov. Bill Haslam and Sen. Lamar Alexander. Haslam supports a national solution to the sales tax question and Alexander is co-sponsor of a Senate bill that would end online retailers unfair advantage.