Amazon to Collect N.J. Sales Tax Under Agreement, Lawmaker Says

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), the biggest online retailer, will begin collecting sales tax from New Jersey residents next year under an agreement with Governor Chris Christie’s administration, a state lawmaker said.

Christie, a first-term Republican, will announce the deal at a 3 p.m. press conference in Trenton, according to Senator Raymond Lesniak, a Democrat from Elizabeth who said he was notified of the accord by members of Christie’s staff. Kevin Roberts, a spokesman for the governor, declined to comment.

Lesniak sponsored legislation that would have suspended sales-tax collections through June 2013 as long as Amazon made a capital investment of at least $130 million and hired no fewer than 1,500 full-time workers. That bill failed to pass the Democratic-controlled Legislature after some lawmakers raised concerns about giving Amazon the tax breaks.

Under the deal with Christie, Seattle-based Amazon will start collecting sales tax as of July 1, 2013, on orders placed by New Jersey residents through its website, and will seek state financial help if it chooses to open a warehouse in the state, Lesniak said.

“It’s certainly helpful to all of our retailers to have a date certain for Amazon to collect sales tax,” Lesniak said in a telephone interview. “Certainly it will also help lead to Amazon creating some jobs and building a facility here.”

Mary Osako, a spokeswoman for Amazon, didn’t immediately return an e-mail seeking comment on the deal.

To contact the reporter on this story: Terrence Dopp in Trenton at tdopp@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net

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