At the County Meeting Commissioners Thomas Creighton and Dean Browning went a little overboard in their praise of this Corporate welfare plan. It seems that these welfare scams are beginning to be seen for what they are by other States. Hopefully Pennsylvania will follow suit.
South Carolina Rejects (Some) Corporate Welfare
There's Nexus in Texas. Amazon says it has no physical presence in the state, but its sign for its Irving facility disagrees.
Amazon.com, Inc. already had been gifted free land, worker training and tax abatements before starting to build a new distribution center in S.C. But that wasn't enough. The corporation demanded five years of sales-tax free operation in the state, threatening to abandon its plans otherwise. Small businesses and taxpayer advocates fought the scheme and won this week, as a strong bi-partisan majority in the House refused to undermine in-state retailers with this additional giveaway. The S.C. Commerce Secretary credited "an emerging public view that businesses deserve a level playing field on matters of tax policy, especially sales tax policy." Kudos to our friends at the S.C. Small Business Chamber, SIBA and others for their stand.
We hope the state will now act on the aggressive fixes proposed in this just-published Bloomberg / Business Week commentary by AMIBA's Jeff Milchen. He contends Amazon should be made to collect sales tax in all of the states where it maintains facilities (it does so in only five of 17) and that we must pass national reform to stop handicapping storefront businesses. Please keep this momentum growing by sharing widely!
State-level reforms also continue to progress, with Texas and Connecticut advancing bills this month (the CT bill foolishly adds a sales tax increase to a measure squeezing the "Amazon loophole," undermining the work of tax fairness advocates). We're eager to help you with local outreach on the topic, such as producing local op-eds or materials. Also, AMIBA just released this collection charting the many Amazon Inc. facilities in the U.S. that seem to go unnoticed by state officials, as well as further sales tax reform action resources.