Perry's first veto: Anything to save Amazon.com $269M while school budget's slashed
Perry votes to make Amazon's Jeff Bezos happy while cutting teachers funding
From the Fort Worth Star Telegram
AUSTIN -- Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday vetoed his first bill of the year, a measure that would have expanded the number of Internet retailers required to collect Texas sales taxes.
The bill, backed by major brick-and-mortar stores but opposed by the giant Amazon.com online retailer, would have required companies that contract with marketing companies in Texas to collect the tax. Federal law requires companies with a physical presence in a state to collect that state's sales tax, and the bill would have expanded the definition to include distribution centers and warehouses.
Amazon.com threatened this year to close an Irving warehouse after state Comptroller Susan Combs demanded $269 million owed in sales taxes, interest and penalties from 2005 to 2009, saying the warehouse constitutes a "physical presence."
But Perry defended Amazon, criticized Combs and pledged to work with the Legislature to keep the Amazon facility, which employees about 120, in Texas.
Perry's veto doesn't affect the $269 million demand, said a spokesman for the comptroller.
The law defines a company as being engaged in business in Texas if it has aspects that include "an office, place of distribution, sales or sample room or place, warehouse, storage place or any other place of business," DeSilva said.