In advance of this week's expected showdown on a South Carolina tax provision demanded by online retailer Amazon, supporters and opponents of the plan cranked up their lobbying efforts.
Amazon has said that without a deal allowing it to continue not collecting sales tax on purchases by South Carolina residents, it would scrap plans for a 1,250-job distribution center in Lexington.
State residents are required to pay tax on online purchases directly to the state if it's not collected by the seller.
In a letter Friday to 'fellow Republicans' the chairman of the Lexington County GOP urged support for the Amazon deal, saying that people may not find special tax deals for a big corporation 'morally palatable' but they shouldn't deprive the county of jobs as a result.
On the other side of the issue, the Alliance for Main Street Fairness ran newspaper ads in Columbia
and Charleston thanking lawmakers for opposing the Amazon tax deal previously, and S.C. Small Business Chamber of Commerce President Frank Knapp Jr. said incentives should be aimed at small businesses.
'Giving the retail giant an unfair competitive advantage over every other retailer was the price that Amazon supporters wanted the entire state to pay for their new local jobs,' he said.
In Cayce, near the planned distribution center, Mayor Elise Partin and council members urged residents to contact state lawmakers in support of the Amazon deal, citing local jobs and tax revenue for schools.
Read more about the Amazon issue and the politics of taxing online purchases in today's Business Review section.
Reach David Slade at 937-5552.