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Amazon allies strive to rally support

May 16, 2011 9:13:00 PM - thestate.com
Midlands political and business leaders intensified their effort Monday to revive a sales-tax collection exemption that Amazon wants to open a distribution center near Cayce.

Backers are lining up a blitz of endorsements from business groups and elected leaders, including U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, a Republican from Springdale. Their message: The promise of 1,249 new jobs should override complaints that the tax break is unfair to other merchants.

The state House could vote again on a five-year exemption from collecting taxes on sales to S.C. residents as early as Wednesday. The House rejected the incentive 71-47 on April 27.

“It’s still a long shot, but there’s a pulse that’s growing stronger,” said Randy Halfacre, Lexington mayor and president of the Greater Lexington Chamber of Commerce. “If we fail to do this, we lose a tremendous opportunity.”

House Republican leader Kenny Bingham, R-Lexington, said comfort with the proposal in the Legislature is increasing but called its fate uncertain.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)