The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce announced today its opposition to a sales tax exemption for the proposed Amazon distribution center in Lexington County.
“Since 2002 our position has been that ‘the state should not be encouraging the public to make purchases via the internet rather than buying from South Carolina brick and mortar stores. The state should not be creating an uneven playing field when it comes to use tax or sales tax collection,’” said Frank Knapp, Jr., president and CEO of the Small Business Chamber.
“This issue is fundamentally one of fairness to the small businesses that compete with big businesses,” said Knapp. “Amazon already has competitive advantages in this regard. The state does not need to artificially give them another one that lowers their costs.”
Addressing the issue of Amazon not locating in the state if no tax exemption is given, Knapp suggested that the company, like others, might have left anyway once incentives ran out.
“We need to start considering if the state and local communities would be far better off investing in the health of existing small businesses that also can create jobs and won’t leave for greener pastures,” said Knapp.