Amazon to Open Facilities, Collect Tax in Wisconsin and Florida [4]

In an effort to increase its delivery times, Amazon continues to expand the number of states where it has distribution facilities — and, as a result, in which it collects sales tax. After recently announcing it would collect sales tax in West Virginia [6], where it has a customer service center, the online giant will be opening distribution centers — and collecting sales tax — in Wisconsin and Florida.

Amazon will start collecting and remitting sales tax for purchases made by Wisconsin residents beginning November 1, 2013. The company informed the state’s Department of Revenue that it would register to collect because its plans to build a distribution center in Kenosha, Wisconsin, were approved by the Kenosha City Council, as reported by the Wisconsin State Journal [7]. The Journal noted that the state could garner as much as $30 million per year in new sales tax revenue from Amazon.

Kenosha’s city council recently approved $17 million in public financing to bring the $250 million project to the town, and it is expected that the facility will employ 1,100 people, the Journal reported.

“I think what it ultimately means is for existing Wisconsin retailers, the fairness of being able to compete fairly with the online-only type of a retailer,” said Scott Stenger of the Alliance of Wisconsin Retailers, as reported by HaywardWI.com [8].

Meanwhile, in Florida, the Tampa Bay Times [9] reported that Amazon has finalized a real estate deal to build a $200 million, 1.1 million-square-foot fulfillment center, which is expected to bring 1,000 permanent jobs to Hillsborough County. The Times stated that the announcement ended a “long, secretive odyssey, which had the county and state dangling millions of dollars in tax breaks to lure a facility officials hope will breathe life into a still-struggling corner of the community.”

To secure the Amazon facility, Hillsborough County waived half of the county portion of the online retailers’ property tax bill for seven years after the center is built (about $6.4 million), the Times noted. In exchange, Amazon must create 375 jobs paying at least $47,581 per year. The article noted that the facility could allow Amazon to offer local express delivery, in the same way it does in 11 other markets.

The distribution center now means that Florida residents will “ultimately” be required to pay sales tax on their Amazon.com purchases, the article noted.

The Florida Retail Federation estimates that Florida will garner over $70 million a year in sales tax from Amazon purchases made locally.