Amazon Vote Heads to Senate

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By Monique Williams

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) --The debate over whether to give Amazon.com a sales tax exemption in exchange for 2,000 South Carolina jobs is moving to the state Senate.

The House gave the necessary perfunctory vote Thursday to send the proposal to the Senate chamber.

The proposal would give the Seattle-based online retailer a five-year exemption on collecting sales tax from online shoppers in South Carolina.

In return, the company must create at least 2,000 full-time jobs and invest at least $125 million by the end of 2013.

The key vote in the House came Wednesday with a 97-20 approval, a remarkable reversal of that chamber's rejection three weeks ago.

Legislators who changed their vote say Amazon's willingness to sweeten its offer with more jobs and investment helped prove the company's commitment to the state.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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