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Amazon, state talk deal: 5,000 jobs in exchange for exmption on collecting sales tax

Excerpt

The following is from the June 21, 2011, edition of The Austin American-Statesman. Bernard Weinstein, an economist and associate director of SMU's Maguire Energy Institute, provided expertise for this story.

June 23, 2011

By Barry Harrell
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

Amazon.com is negotiating a deal with Texas officials that would see the online retail giant promise to create more than 5,000 jobs and invest $300 million in the state over the next three years.

In exchange, lawmakers would have to grant Amazon a 4½-year exemption from collecting tax on online sales in Texas, according to documents obtained by the American-Statesman. . .

Bernard Weinstein, an economist at the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University, said that if Amazon does create 5,000 jobs and invest $300 million in Texas in the next three years, "the additional state and local revenues generated by this economic activity should far exceed the foregone sales taxes."

However, Weinstein said he was concerned that the proposal's sales tax exemption provisions "may put existing storefront retailers — both in Texas and elsewhere — at a competitive disadvantage. And Amazon may soon be the largest retailer in America."

Read the full story.

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