Amazon Coming to Florida

14, June 2013

Online retail giant Amazon plans to build warehousing operations in Florida, a move that will create over 3,000 jobs.

Although Florida residents will now have to pay sales tax on purchases made through the site, it is a small sacrifice to pay for the effect it will have on the momentum of Florida's economy. High consumer confidence and low unemployment have highlighted a Florida economy that is on the rise.

Florida Governor Rick Scott and other legislators originally denied Amazon's proposal to move to Florida back in 2012. The pitch caused opposition from other state retailers because Amazon required to be exempt from state sales tax for two years.

In the end, Amazon's motive to opening locations in Florida is part of an effort in decrease shipping time to online orders.

The following is an excerpt from ABC Action News:

Amazon is expected to construct two sets of two warehouses in Florida over the next 24 months, but the first pair of warehouses will likely be finished sometime next year. Thursday’s announcement did not include any details on a likely site for the warehouses.

The governor, who has made job creation a top priority, said Thursday that Amazon would work with the state’s economic development agency as it “chooses locations” for its warehouses. He left open the possibility that Amazon could wind up getting incentives from the state before it begins construction.

Amazon’s decision to come to Florida isn’t unexpected given the retailer’s desire to put in a system to guarantee quicker delivery of products ordered online. The company has reached similar agreements regarding warehouses and payment of sales taxes in several other states.

The governor had previously said no to a deal to bring Amazon to the state. He had expressed concerns that signing off on such a deal would result in tax increases for Floridians.

“Based on the opportunity I had at the time, it didn’t make sense,” Scott said just last month during a stop at a Tampa manufacturing plant. “I haven’t seen something I think is good for Florida taxpayers.”

There was no clear indication what prompted Scott to change his mind. But the governor has been lobbied on the deal by high-profile lobbyists such as Brian Ballard. Ballard is a well-known fundraiser for Republicans in the state.

The state’s legislative leaders — who have been pushed the last several years by the state’s business groups to pass bills to force online merchants to collect sales taxes — praised Scott for reaching a deal with Amazon.

“Bringing Amazon to Florida will provide a tremendous boost to our economy,” said House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, in a statement.

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