State House leaders are warning other legislators to leave the proposed Amazon distribution centers near Chattanooga alone, or Oak Ridge and Franklin will suffer the consequences. State Sen. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge, and state Rep. Charles Sergeant, R-Franklin, are the sponsors of legislation to require Amazon to collect Tennessee sales tax on sales, since they will have facilities within the state. The facilities are being built in the districts of House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, and Assistant Leader Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland. The House leaders told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that Sergeant has corporate headquarters in his suburban Nashville district and McNally’s district has state-regulated waste disposal facilities on the Oak Ridge reservation and that both legislators should be careful about messing with Chattanooga’s jobs or somebody might mess with theirs.
“If I were Randy McNally I would be very concerned about saving jobs in Oak Ridge rather than running them out of Hamilton County,” McCormick said.
Amazon threatened to withdraw from South Carolina when incoming Gov. Nikki Haley refused to go along with her predecessor’s agreement to allow Amazon an exemption. A compromise was struck and Amazon will begin collecting sales taxes after five years. McNally’s bill would require Amazon to start collecting sales tax after two years.