The Governor was in Tampa on Friday, touting three-tenths of a percent drop in the state's jobless rate.
"As you know Hertz is moving their corporate office down to Lee County," said Rick Scott.
But what Scott wasn’t talking about was the 2,500 jobs he turned down. Internet giant Amazon.Com wants to build fulfillment centers in Florida in their quest to offer same day delivery. Under current law, the moment they closed the deal, Amazon would have had to start collecting sales taxes. They hoped to delay collecting taxes on internet sales until the centers opened in February. After months of talking, Scott said no.
"My job is to make sure I do the right thing for taxpayers of our state, and based on the opportunity I had at the time it didn't make sense," said Scott.
The talks are continuing. Scott is optimistic.
"I haven't seen something that I think is good for Florida's tax payers, but I'm hopeful that Amazon will be here with their warehouses soon," said Scott.
Florida's Retail Federation has been pushing for fairness between brick and mortar stores and internet sellers for almost a decade. They were actively involved in the Amazon negotiations; surprised when they fell apart. They say they won't have anything to say until next week.
Legislation to allow the collection of taxes on internet sales was amendment during the legislative session to accommodate the February date sought by Amazon. In the end, nothing passed.
"It's something that should probably have been done a decade ago," said Internet Collection Bill Sponsor Sen. Nancy Detert.
And because nothing passed, Florida will continue to lose an estimated one to two billion dollars a year.
Under current law, residents who make remote purchases are supposed to download a form from the Department of Revenue and voluntarily pay the taxes due. Fewer than four thousand forms are filed each year. A copy of the form can be found in the link below.