November 30, 2015

By Jack Kuenzie

On Cyber Monday, many online shoppers are searching for ways to pay less for items on holiday wish lists. That includes paying taxes, especially when the purchases are made through Amazon.

Amazon has been able to avoid collecting taxes in South Carolina for more than four years thanks to a deal with lawmakers that led to the opening of massive distribution centers in Lexington and Spartanburg Counties.

But that tax break ends in a month and shoppers in South Carolina will no longer be able to ignore their obligations.

A longtime critic of the tax deal says Amazon’s competitors, large and small, will see a more level playing field.

“We all know that there are advantages from internet sales,” said Frank Knapp of the SC Small Business Chamber of Commerce. “That those retailers have advantages already. We didn’t need to give Amazon another six-percent advantage over brick and mortar stores.”

South Carolina was one of at least 10 states that traded tax breaks for jobs and investment. The company was required to create at least 2,000 jobs and invest $125 million.

At this point, however, it’s not clear how much revenue will be generated by the expiration of the tax deal.


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