Tea party activists and conservative policy groups on Wednesday called for more detailed disclosure in the state's economic development deals in the midst of questions about a sales tax collection break for online retailer Amazon.com.
State Sen. Tom Davis, a Beaufort Republican, introduced a bill calling for that type of disclosure and said he'll attach it to every bill tied to economic development, including the upcoming debate on a break that will shield Amazon from collecting sales tax on sales to South Carolina residents.
Amazon told legislators that it will stop building a 1,249-employee distribution center in Lexington County if it's forced to collect the taxes.
On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee approved legislation putting the break on the books for five years and sending it to the Senate floor for debate. Competing retailers, who collect online and store sales taxes, said the legislation gives Amazon an advantage by leaving it up to consumers to follow a 60-year-old law and report their own purchases.
Davis said South Carolina taxpayers aren't benefiting as much as they should from deals arranged in secret with little accountability on businesses to deliver benefits.