Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Amazon Comes To State, with Jobs & Sales Tax, by Crystal Oravis

The opening of an Amazon warehouse in Kenosha will result in a sales tax on Amazon.com, an announcement confirmed today. The Kenosha Distribution Center is proposed to open in fall of 2014. In addition to greater state revenue, the new warehouse will also lead to improvements in the area and create jobs in the state, according to the communications director at Amazon.

The main Amazon facility, in Seattle, has been unable to tax buyers in Wisconsin due to the lack of facilities in Wisconsin. With a physical presence in the state, Amazon is able to require customers to pay a sales tax.

States have missed an average of $23 billion last year for not collecting out-of-state sales tax. Wisconsin gaining this sales tax would result in an average of $95 million yearly by the 2015 fiscal year.

The city of Kenosha has agreed to give an $18.1 million to repair sewers, roads, and other advancements directly related to the building of the new warehouse. The new margin of revenue from the sales tax could pay back the city within the first year.

The new warehouse will create roughly 1,100 new jobs for full-time employees, according to company announcement. The average wage for about 850 employees filling orders will be $13 per hour, while the other 250 jobs will be technicians and program managers, receiving salary pay. The company plans to hire within 20-25 miles of the facility.

               The department’s communications director, Laurel Patrick said, “Amazon has told the state Department of Revenue it will obtain a Wisconsin seller’s permit by November 1 and with then begin collecting sales tax on Wisconsin residents.”

Legislation in Washington regarding internet-sales sales tax requirements is currently pending. The legislation is called the Marketplace Fairness Act. Senate passed the bill in May, but the House of Representatives has yet to act on it.