When it comes to Florida and Minnesota, online retail giant Amazon is heading, physically and digitally, in opposite directions.
Hello, Florida: Amazon plans to spend around $300 million to build facilities in the Sunshine State. The facilities reportedly will be fulfillment centers, aka warehouses, along the state's I-4 corridor.
Florida officials and Amazon are touting the estimated 3,000 full-time jobs with benefits the new operations are expected to bring.
The state's online shoppers, however, are bemoaning the eventual end of tax-free purchases from Amazon.
Once the company has a physical presence in Florida, it will begin collecting the state's 6 percent sales tax from Sunshine State customers.
When will the tax collection start? At such time as it is required under current Florida law, according to the Amazon announcement from Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
Goodbye, Minnesota: While the Seattle-based online retailer was saying hello to its new neighbors in Florida, it was sending a different message to its affiliates in Minnesota: So long.
In May, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed into law a bill that says any online businesses with a physical presence or affiliates in the Land of 10,000 Lakes must charge sales tax on items sold to state residents.
Rather than do that, Amazon has opted to dump its Minnesota affiliates. These are businesses, such as bloggers, who run ads on their websites and collect commissions from Amazon for sales they generate.
The business separation is effective July 1, the day the online sales tax collection bill takes effect.
According to the Performance Marketing Association, a trade group that represents affiliates, there are 5,200 affiliates in Minnesota that generated a total of about $500 million worth of business in 2012 and paid about $35 million in state income tax.
The law change, says the PMA, affects about 1,000 online retailers, who in addition to Amazon also work with other major retailers such as Blue Nile and Cabela's.