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Representative Watson Takes Stand Against Amazon Taxing

NASHVILLE -- Representative Eric Watson (R-Cleveland) is taking a stand against Tennessee taxing the Amazon giant. Some legislators are considering a bill requiring Amazon to pay state sales taxes in Tennessee. Watson feels it is a plan that was ill-conceived and could possibly hurt the job prospects for thousands and the economy for all Tennesseans.

As House Judiciary Chairman, Watson was to speak to the Bradley County Commission this past week regarding Amazon. He asked the Commission to pass a resolution in support of the Fortune Top 100 company.

Before speaking to the Commission, Rep. Watson remarked, "I am heading to the Commission today to talk about an amazing company that is coming to Bradley County and wants to call Tennessee home. I am thankful for the leadership of Amazon who recognize Tennessee is a strong low-tax, right to work State that fosters a great environment for companies to succeed and create jobs."

The Chairman of the Judiciary continued, "Unfortunately, a few legislators seem to have taken their eye off the ball and want to try to force Amazon to pay sales taxes in Tennessee. In my view, this attempt is unconstitutional and uncalled for. The U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear State's cannot collect sales taxes from internet-based companies. To try and overturn a clear decision is unwarranted. Moreover, the maneuvering by these lawmakers jeopardizes the reputation of our State. We have a strong track record of welcoming companies and keeping our commitment to them. This legislation infringes on that reputation of prosperity."

Amazon announced earlier this year it would locate two distribution centers in East Tennessee — one in Bradley County and another in Hamilton County. The company is also looking at additional sites for further expansion in the state. For the first two centers alone, the company's investment will total more than $139 million in Tennessee. Legislative analysts estimate that Tennessee government would reap an additional $7.9 million a year under the legislation while local governments would see about $2.7 million.

Watson concluded, "It is ridiculous that any legislator would stand in the way of an agreement to bring a company here to Bradley County that stands to benefit all of Tennessee. Here's my advice for these lawmakers: In this slow economic recovery, I would hate to be known as the legislator who pulled the rug out from a company bringing thousands of jobs to our State. Tennesseans don't cotton to that kind of ill-conceived effort."

Source: Amazon

Published May 14, 2011

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