Amazon Picks U.S. State Sales-Tax Winners
When Texas sent amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) (AMZN) a $269 million sales-tax bill in 2010, the world’s biggest online retailer shrugged. As lawmakers forced the issue last year, the company closed a warehouse near Dallas, cutting 119 jobs.
Until April, Texas stood with 39 other states that don’t get sales and use levies from Amazon for purchases made by their residents. By one estimate, that will mean more than $11 billion in potential revenue from Web merchants lost this year.
“Online is the fastest growth segment of the retail economy,” David French, senior vice president of government relations at the National Retail Federation, said by telephone. The lost revenue has “exasperated” governors, he said.
On April 27, that changed for Texas. The company and Comptroller Susan Combs, 67, announced that Amazon would start collecting sales taxes from customers in the state this month and invest $200 million to create 2,500 local jobs in four years. In ending the levy dispute for an undisclosed amount, Texas joined just five other states that get such remittances.