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The Battle Over What To Do With New Sales Taxes Collected By Amazon

Amazon is now collecting state sales tax thanks to a new agreement that means the company will put three data and cloud computing facilities in central Ohio. 

And lawmakers are already weighing in on what should be done with that new tax revenue. Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles reports.

Amazon officials estimate that if a federal law requiring online retailers to collect sales tax were passed, the state could rake in between $150 to $300 million. Democratic Sen. Joe Schiavoni is thrilled that Amazon is now collecting taxes on its sales, rather than allowing Ohioans to report those sales on their tax returns, which often didn’t happen. Schiavoni wants the state to use that money for education, child care, police training, public transit and small business development. But Governor John Kasich has other plans for that cash.

“If we are going to get more revenue, we should cut people’s taxes with it,” Kasich says.

Schiavone disagrees.

“We will not see that impact if we just spread this very thinly through an income tax cut,” he says.

Amazon is collecting taxes on its own sales in Ohio, but not on transactions by other retailers who also use the Amazon site.

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