According to newspaper accounts, this past Tuesday night Amazon executive Paul Misener called Representative Kenny Bingham to say that the retail giant was willing to increase the number of jobs and investment in the state to help win House approval of the Amazon.com sales tax deal. This came after over a month of intense lobbying by The South Carolina Small Business Chamber and other opponents of the unique sales tax collection exemption the state had offered (among many other incentives) Amazon in exchange for building a distribution center in Lexington County
Earlier that same day, I and others opposed to the Amazon sales tax deal had held a press conference on the front steps of the State House pledging to keep up the fight that earlier had resulted in a House vote victory.
Mr. Bingham, who had been encouraging Amazon for weeks to sweeten its offer, was ready to give the sales tax deal one more shot in the House. Tuesday night Amazon conceded to Bingham’s request in hopes of turning the vote in its favor.
It worked and the House voted overwhelmingly this time in favor of the Amazon deal.
What had been an Amazon promise of 1249 jobs and $90 investment now is written in the bill as a guaranteed 2000 new jobs and $125 million investment.
While we still oppose the sales tax exemption that will put all other retailers in the state at a competitive disadvantage with Amazon, the value of advocacy against the deal can now be measured….
751 more jobs and $35 million more in investment!
That’s 60% more jobs and 39% more investment in the state thanks to our and others’ advocacy for small business if the bill should be approved by the Senate .
Our opposition to the Amazon sales tax deal goes on. But even if it is not ultimately successful, our advocacy does work to the benefit of small businesses and the state–and now we have the numbers to prove it.