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602 S. Gay Street
Knoxville, TN 37902
As most of our friends know all too well, I was no lemming-supporter of the next nicest Governor on Earth...but I am today, as he sticks his neck out with the Amazon sales-tax deal. After reading silly stories, just a few nauseating comments on KnoxNews.com, plus Frank Cagle’s funny MP commentary today, I just need to support the Art of the Tennessee Deal. [“Can’t Make Everybody Happy,” Frank Talk, Aug. 25, 2011] Frank, kudos for guessing at the fiscal impact on Tennessee sales tax potential and even adding a sweet swing at Knox County’s missing revenue. However, for the life of me, I cannot see how your “2 percent of the national population” or 1/50th of states holds up. It’s about literacy and disposable income, of which our state is near dead last in both categories. Most Tennesseans have no idea what Amazon’s Kindle or their “cloud” even is, let alone read to their kids 20+ minutes a day, as recommended. If we can’t have a majority-educated population in Tennessee, let’s at least have a few thousand more jobs for those who need to know what high-tech companies provide and can do for future generations.
Next, Frank omits the financial impact of 1,200 good to great jobs brought to our state in multiple Amazon facilities of over 2 million square feet of collective space (thanks for the detail, Google!). That impact of decent salaries, buying power, Amazon vendor expenses, and all of the small businesses helped by Tennessee Amazon business units and their workforce can never be accurately measured...but I’ll guaran-dang-tee you, as a successful product of Knox County public schools, that the missing sales tax revenue gets knocked down again in a big way...but may not help our specific county. It’s a Greater Good thing. Hey, as a former infomercial guy, I understand the NEXUS law. Amazon has, indeed, created NEXUS here in Tennessee. No doubt. However, the former governor, who this Reagan-only conservative voted for...twice...made that deal with Amazon. And, it was good. Bill, keep the agreement, keep the faith, and keep making more deals with American and multi-national corporations that are looking for their team to save 5-10 percent of every paycheck (via no state income tax), their companies to profit from a competitive advantage, and help this great state to leverage our low cost of living and high quality-of-life during working and retirement (please kill the Hall Tax) years.
We have one helluva tourism, business relocation (low to no taxes), and retirement marketing campaign potential to REALLY build, fund, and sell worldwide someday! Why not make that killer campaign pitch, with celebrities and CEOs, happen on your eight-year watch, Bill? Just sayin’. Hey, it’s a killer infomercial, too!