Attorney General says Amazon.com should collect sales tax - WKRN News 2

Attorney General says Amazon.com should collect sales tax

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A legal opinion from Tennessee State Attorney General Bob Cooper could require a sales tax exemption for online retailer Amazon.com to be canceled.

Cooper's opinion comes just as two Amazon distribution centers are scheduled to open in Hamilton and Bradley counties.

Initially as part of the deal to bring the distribution centers to Tennessee, former Governor Phil Bredesen agreed to grant Amazon a sales tax waiver.

However, in the opinion issued on Tuesday, Cooper thinks that deal should no longer stand as it is because current law requires retailers with a distribution center to collect sales tax.

For independent book retailers like Saralee Woods, of BookMan/BookWoman in Hillsboro Village, she hopes to see Amazon.com collect Tennessee sales tax just as she does.

"I know that they'll [Amazon.com] want to step up like we have and do things with taxes that they can be proud of," Woods told Nashville's News 2, "Really supporting the things that are important, the educational system in Tennessee that we do through sales tax."

However Woods said if Amazon.com remains exempt from collecting sales tax in Tennessee it will not affect how she runs her bookstore.

"We're going to continue at BookMan/BookWoman to do business like we are and listen to our customer needs and we're going to pay our taxes and be happy about."

Governor Bill Haslam told Nashville's New 2 that, as of Tuesday, he had not had a chance to fully review A.G. Cooper's opinion, but that discussions with Amazon.com will continue in hopes of coming to an agreement.

State lawmakers would need to pass special legislation to exempt Amazon.com from the requirement.

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