A wait of more than two years is over for businesses calling for a level playing field with internet sales giant Amazon.com.
The new year will deliver an influx of cash to the state. Beginning January 1st, Amazon will collect sales tax on all purchases in the state of Tennessee.
Until now, customers were encouraged to pay on their own. It's part of a deal signed by Governor Bill Haslam in 2011 to bring Amazon distribution centers to our state. With it came thousands of jobs and sales many customers saw as tax free.
Some Knoxville businesses have seen it as an unfair advantage for the online retailer for years.
"We could have gone out of business because of this," said Cathy Henschen of Union Avenue Books in Downtown Knoxville. "At Union Avenue Books we're doing great right now. We're going to do better and this is going to help us tremendously."
Union Avenue Books said they believe this will allow them to compete more fairly.
"Better late than never," said Henschen.
But what businesses say will help, some Amazon customers say will hurt their pocketbooks.
"We use Amazon a lot," said Knoxville resident Carolyn Williams.
Williams said even a 9.75% savings means a lot when you're a single mom.
"That's tremendous," she said. She is disappointed by the sales tax addition, but says she will continue to shop on the site.
According to the state legislature's fiscal review committee, the new sales tax collection is estimated to generate about $17 million in recurring state revenue and another $7 million in local revenue across the state.