According to an article in the Statesman this week, Gov. Perry is considering legislation that would exempt Amazon and other online retailers from paying sales tax in the state of Texas in exchange for the creation of 5,000 jobs and a promise to invenst $300 million in Texas over the next three years. Comptroller Susan Combs estimates that were Texas to collect due sales tax from Amazon, the online retailer would owe the state $269 million dollars it failed to collect from 2005 to 2009.
BookPeople CEO Steve Bercu has this response:
“As I have testified in both the House and Senate, Texas would be much better served by passing the bill it has in front of it now. If the bill passes, Texas retailers will create at least 10,000 jobs without any extra incentive other than being able to compete fairly. The state does not need to pick favorite retailers and especially not out-of-state ones. Favoring out-of-state retailers over Texas retailers that already collect sales tax, pay property taxes, contribute to their communities, and live in Texas makes absolutely no sense. Talking about imaginary jobs instead of helping existing retailers create them is foolish. We should all be doing everything we can to contact our state representatives and senators and urging them to support SB1 as it is written.”
What do you think? Should online retailers like Amazon be given a pass on sales tax?