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Scott announces deal to bring Amazon jobs -- and online taxes -- to Florida

Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday announced a deal with online retail giant Amazon to bring 3,000 jobs to Florida by the end of 2016.

The company is prepared to spend more than $300 million on new warehouses, The Associated Press reported. Earlier, Scott had nixed a deal to bring Amazon to Florida out of concerns that such a deal would result in higher taxes for Floridians because it would make online purchases through Amazon subject to Florida sales tax, which they are not now.

Online purchases by Florida consumers are not subject to the state's 6 percent statewide sales tax, but they would be if Amazon has a presence in that state. In his announcement, Scott said Amazon would begin collecting state sales taxes from residents when it is required by Florida law.

Scott's announcement did not say where Amazon's Florida jobs would be located -- but early speculation is that some will be in Hillsborough County. The announcement also said that Amazon would collect Florida sales tax "at such time as it is required under current Florida law. To make the proposed job creation and investments economically viable, the availability of ecobomic development incentives will be a material factor in any final location decisions."

-- Steve Bousquet