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Regional & National

Haslam: Don't force Amazon sales tax without deal

August 12th, 2011 3:28 pm by ERIK SCHELZIG

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam doesn't want lawmakers to require to collect Tennessee sales taxes unless the online retailer agrees first.

The Republican governor told reporters in Nashville on Friday that his administration is in negotiations with Amazon on a scheme to have the company expand while also collecting sales taxes in the future.

Haslam's Democratic predecessor, Phil Bredesen, last year struck a deal that Amazon wouldn't have to collect sales taxes on items sold through new distribution centers in southeastern Tennessee.

The deal has upset retailers, and some lawmakers have since called for reversing the arrangement. Haslam said his preference would be for Amazon to collect sales taxes, but that he doesn't want to renege on the existing agreement.

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