State Lawmakers Debate Amazon.Com Controversy - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

State Lawmakers Debate Amazon.Com Controversy

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - State lawmakers are working against a deal that would bring millions of dollars and thousands of jobs to the state. They are against it because it could cost the state millions in sales tax.

Amazon.com wants to build two distribution centers in Southeast Tennessee. Former Governor Phil Bredesen cut a deal with them that if they built here, they wouldn't have to pay any sales tax.

Some state lawmakers don't like the deal and are now looking to sign a bill that would change that. They argue that Tennessee could lose out in the long run if Amazon doesn't pay millions in much needed sales tax.

Federal law may be on Amazon's side, because they are building warehouses, not stores.

"The federal statute, the case law, prevents you, from requiring these warehouses, to collect sales tax, or to Amazon, to collect sales tax," said Amazon.com lobbyist John Lyle.

Amazon has faced similar fights in other states and even pulled out of doing business in other places.

Amazon has threatened to pull out of the deal in Tennessee if the bill is passed.

"It almost seems like someone is playing games with us, because you know our tax base is based on our sales tax revenue," said Senator Joe Haynes.

State lawmakers didn't make any decisions on Tuesday. They are waiting to hear more from Amazon about the deal, which should happen next week.

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