April 29, 2011, 12:41 PM

Amazon nixes a planned distribution center in South Carolina

A denied tax exemption leads the e-retailer to abort a distribution center project.

Paul Demery

Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce

Lead Photo

Amazon.com Inc. continues to be at odds with states over its distribution centers. Denied a package of promised tax exemptions by the South Carolina House of Representatives,Amazon quickly responded by saying it would cancel what was expected to be a significant fulfillment center project.

“As a result of an unfortunate House vote, we’ve cancelled $52 million in procurement contracts and removed all South Carolina fulfillment center job postings from our site,” Paul Misener, Amazon’s vice president of global public policy, said in a prepared statement.

Misener’s statement did not provide more details about the distribution center operation, though The State, a newspaper that covers South Carolina state government in the capital city of Columbia, reported that the project was expected to create 1,249 permanent jobs.

The South Carolina House voted 71 to 47 against the tax exemption package, according to a posting on the state legislature’s web site. The tax package was to provide Amazon incentives including a break in property taxes and a pass on having to collect sales tax on orders to South Carolina residents.

The deal, originally offered by former Gov. Mark Sanford, attracted opposition from business groups including the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce, which contended that the incentive package used public money to help Amazon compete against smaller retailers.

Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, recently announced it was hiring new staff at 14 other fulfillment centers.

 

Comments | 2 Responses

  • Amazon is a pain to deal with on any level and should be reeled in by every state in the union, no sales tax breaks, no property tax breaks. They want to bully vendors, states, and anyone else if they thought they could. I have forbid any of my family from buying anything on Amazon and tell any freinds and business associates they are fools if they do. I will do all that I can to thwart their sales in any fashion that I can personally. They believe that they are above the law and can write their own rules......not so. And they hide behind cleverly worded legal responses to cover themselves. Just stop buying from them and make them play by the same rules everyone else does should do the trick. Normally hit in the checkbook does it every time.

  • Great move by Amazon. They work to provide their customers with the lowest possible prices. I've personally had only positive experiences with Amazon as an online retailer. I'm glad they are taking action to continue serving their customers in the best possible way. If governments don't want to work with Amazon the company has every right to move on in search of their own best interests.

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