Consumer use tax spike likely related to Amazon

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- State consumer use tax collections were up 108 percent this April over last, an increase that appears to be related to a law that notify Tennessee customers that they owe sales taxes.

Another part of the law requires Amazon to begin collecting sales tax in Tennessee in 2014. For now, customers must pay them on their own.

Amazon recently built two distribution centers in Hamilton and Bradley counties, creating about 3,500 jobs.

The law came about after Amazon's brick-and-mortar competitors argued that allowing the internet-retailing giant to not collect sales tax was unfair.

Rep. Kevin Brooks, of Cleveland, sponsored the bill. He told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that many people are surprised to learn they legally owe sales tax even if the retailer does not collect it.

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