Amazon to Build Two Distribution Centers in New Jersey

Online retail giant plans to build two huge distribution centers in New Jersey employing up to 1,500 full-time workers, the Star-Ledger reports.

The newspaper reported that the Seattle-based e-commerce leader plans to apply for tax incentives from the state Economic Development Authority, but its officials did not say how much they would seek. “Certainly we’re going to have to work out the economic development arrangements,” said Paul Misener, Amazon’s vice president for global public policy said at a statehouse press conference in Trenton.

The plans for the new distribution centers were unveiled by Gov. Chris Christie, who also announced that beginning July 2013 Amazon will start collecting a 7 percent state sales tax. According to the Star-Ledger report, the tax will be collected whether or not the new warehouses are built.

“We will now in the state of New Jersey begin collecting sales tax at least from a fraction of the market we otherwise would not have gotten,” Christie said, adding the deal would also lead to “thousands” of part-time, seasonal and construction jobs.

Amazon and other out-of-state online retailers currently do not collect the 7 percent sales taxes from New Jersey customers that in-state merchants are required to charge. Although residents are supposed to pay the levy when they file their income tax returns, few do. Christie said that although forecasts differ on how much sales tax revenue the state will bring in, he put a “safe estimate” at $30 million to $40 million.

During negotiations for the new facilities, Amazon reportedly had been seeking two-year sales tax holiday