Poll Results Show Conservatives Want Tax Exemption for Amazon
More than 500 people took the AFP-Tennessee poll asking if they supported exempting Amazon from collecting the states sales tax. Of course this is not scientific, but over 77% of respondents supported the exemption for Amazon, with 18% opposing the exemption and a bit over 4% being undecided.
To flesh out exactly what the poll meant, we asked participants to e-mail their comments, and explain their opinion. The overwhelming responses in favor of the exemption centered around anti-tax, supporting Amazons job creation and honoring the deal between Amazon and former Gov. Bredesen.
Conservatives in Tennessee view Amazons collection of the state sales tax for online purchases as nothing more than a new tax. Viewed in the same vein as the struggle to protect Tennessees workers from a state personal income tax, Volunteers are committed to keeping taxes low and preventing Nashville from instituting new taxes.
AFP-Tennessee has not taken a position on this issue. There are compelling arguments on both sides, which we have outlined here.
Gov. Haslam has been in the news recently, stating his desire to find a common solution that will encourage Amazon to invest in our state and create new jobs, at the same time requiring Amazon to collect the tax. We hope such common ground exists.
The staff at AFP-Tennessee are not lawyers and we do not pretend to be yet there are compelling reasons to believe that state law requires Amazon, since it has a physical presence in the state, to collect the states sales tax. If that is the case, as some say it is, it is possible providing an exemption would require an act of the General Assembly, and not simply a deal made by the Executive branch. There are constitutional questions of checks-and-balances at play in this issue that cannot be ignored.
As we stated, there are compelling arguments on both sides. Yet, it must be noted that the overwhelming number of our conservative activists believe Amazon should be allowed to invest and create jobs without being forced to collect online taxes.