Lebanon businesses uneasy over Amazon facility - WSMV News 4

Lebanon businesses uneasy over Amazon facility

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Wilson County announced Thursday that Amazon is beginning to hire workers for its new Lebanon facility, but some of its neighbors aren't giving the company a warm welcome.

D.T. McCall & Sons owners say the store keeps its prices competitive, but when Amazon.com doesn't have to collect sales tax on the same it puts the brick and mortar business at a disadvantage.

"If they have a 10 percent price advantage, because they don't have the sales tax and we do it's hard to compete" owner A.J. McCall said.

Amazon is supposed to have a distributing center up and running in Lebanon by the first of October, and it is already starting to hire 250 employees.

But the company cut a deal with former Gov. Bredesen to not collect sales tax from Tennessee customers.

Gov. Haslam has said he will honor the deal, but the state is in negotiations with the company.

"We'd like to come up with something that long-term works for them and us. And we think we can do that," Haslam said.

Local businesses have been outraged by the deal and have waged a campaign to convince the state to make Amazon collect sales taxes.

Many state lawmakers agree and are considering legislation to force Amazon to collect the tax.

"If this was an easy situation it would be easy to solve but the truth is there's really good arguments on both sides," Haslam said.

McCall says he thinks the state and federal government need to work to find a solution to an issue that is costing Tennessee hundreds of millions of dollars every year in uncollected sales taxes.

"We just want it to be fair. We don't think anybody's done anything wrong. As a matter of fact, the governor's in a difficult position because he is in a no-win situation with this," McCall said.

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