SC businesses slam Senate Finance Committee’s lack of transparency on Amazon deal

The South Carolina Alliance for Main Street Fairness today responded to a last-minute hearing scheduled by the full Senate Finance Committee on Amazon’s special deal, which exempts them from collecting the sales tax. By bypassing subcommittee hearings, senators have cut off a public debate and prohibited South Carolina businesses owners who would be negatively impacted by this special deal from testifying publicly.

“Lawmakers attempting to ram through legislation for Amazon without a public debate sends a message that rewarding an out-of-state company with a special deal is more important than the thousands of other South Carolina employers who play by the rules and are just asking for a level playing field. By bypassing subcommittee hearings, senators are cutting off those who would be most affected by Amazon’s special deal: existing South Carolina employers,” said Brian Flynn, spokesperson for the South Carolina Alliance for Main Street Fairness.

“It certainly appears the Senate Finance Committee is not interested in seeing or hearing from employers who could lose their livelihoods if the state makes a special deal for one company. Passing a special deal that gives an out-of-state company a special advantage over existing South Carolina businesses would be bad enough, but ramming it through and silencing the very businesses owners who would be affected is an insult to every job provider throughout the state.”

“A proposal to give online retail giant a break from collecting South Carolina sales taxes has been put on a fast track for debate.  The full Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to debate the measure Tuesday and bypass subcommittee hearings that would let the public tell senators what they think about the measure.” (“SC Senate Panel To Take Up Amazon Sales Tax Break,” The Associated Press, 4/19/11)

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