Photo: Houston Technology centre
On Friday we mentioned how Amazon announced plans to quit its distribution and warehouses in Texas, thanks to a decision by the state Comptroller to force the company into paying sales taxes.The irony of course is that Texas is a “pro business” state, and not one you’d expect to repel a major employer.
Had this happened in, say, Illinois, the media would’ve been all over it as a cautionary tale. Instead the news passed fairly quietly.
Meanwhile, Texas Governor Rick Perry is furious. JP Freire of the DC Examiner talked to Perry, who said his own Comptroller made the wrong move in forcing Amazon to pay sales taxes. As Freire put it on Twitter, Perry threw his Comptroller (Susan Combs) under the bus.
At issue is whether a company with a physical presence in the state is compelled to pay sales taxes to residents of the state. Perry’s argument is that since Amazon has no storefront the physical presence rule shouldn’t apply, and from his comments it sounds as though he may push the Legislature to make some move that would allow the company to stay and not pay taxes.
All that being said, in this time of budget problems at the state and local level, we can only expect to see more politicians get more aggressive about collecting taxes they’re losing out on thanks to electronic commerce.
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