Rhode Island Stalls Hearing into Distribution Center Tax Exemption

Recently we learned that Amazon.com was in negotiations with the state of Rhode Island to build two distribution warehouses in-state. Amazon is promising almost 1400 jobs to be split between the two warehouses. But Amazon.com also has a non-negotiable term to any deal: a written agreement that the state won’t seek to pass an Internet Tax bill that would result in Amazon having to collect TN sales taxes by virtue of the warehouse operations.

The state was to have held a public hearing on February 25th, to gauge public opinion on granting a tax exemption to companies who warehouse in-state, but have no retail outlets. However, on January 19th, the Rhode Island Governor, Bill Haslam, announced a 45-day freeze on all pending rules and regulations, as part of his complete state government services review. With the freeze, any negotiations and/or deal between the parties is in limbo.