Friday, February 11, 2011

Rick Perry chases jobs out of Texas *update*

While we're piling on Governor Zoolander, let's note this news.

Online retail giant is closing a suburban Dallas distribution center and scrapping plans to expand Texas operations after a dispute with the state over millions of dollars in sales taxes, an executive informed employees Thursday in an e-mail obtained by The Associated Press.

Dave Clark, Amazon's vice president of operations, writes in the e-mail that the center will close April 12 due to Texas' "unfavorable regulatory climate" (emphasis mine). Amazon spokeswoman Mary Osako would not say how many employees work at the Irving distribution center.

Texas contends Amazon is responsible for sales taxes not collected on online sales in the state and the comptroller's office last year demanded $269 million in uncollected sales taxes from the company. Amazon subsequently filed a lawsuit against the state, demanding it produce the audit that generated the figure.


Clark said in his e-mail that the company also is scrapping plans "to build additional facilities and expand in Texas, bringing more than 1,000 new jobs and tens of millions of investment dollars to the state." Texas employees who are willing to relocate will be offered positions in other states, Clark said.

Let's pause here for a moment. I am in favor of Texas -- and every other state, for that matter -- levying sales taxes on online purchases. To those who would wail about doing so, from corporate retailers to teabaggers and every conservative schmuck in-between -- I say "get a grip". You cannot whine about budget deficits and simply refuse to consider any potential tax revenue streams. It's delusional to think that you can. Oh wait ...

But what I think is neither the point of this post nor the majority viewpoint in Texas. This action by the comptroller completely contradicts the governor's "Texas is good for bidness" BS he repeatedly blathers, and this level of extreme hypocrisy has apparently -- finally --  pissed off all those suckers who just elected him last November. (A little too late for any meaningful action, but then they have always been slow...)

Rick Perry is too busy to notice all that commotion, though; he's in Washington DC to address the CPAC convention this afternoon. That's after visiting California to celebrate Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday last week, while Texans shivered under rolling blackouts across the state.

He's not taking extended victory laps or even 'drumming up new business'. It's all part of his 2012 vice-presidential campaign. And his book tour.

McBlogger and Bay Area Houston have more.

Update: It's all Susan Combs' fault.

"That is a problem and I would suggest to you that we need to look at that decision that our comptroller made," he said. "The comptroller made that decision independently. I would tell you from my perspective that's not the decision I would have made."

Well isn't that special. Now we have a catfight between Republican state executives.

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